Display Status This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Myron Gould "Dan" Beard (1896-1974) was born in Foochow, China, the son of American missionaries. Beard learned to fly at Kelly Field in 1918, and then went to the University of Michigan where he received an engineering degree in 1925. Beard was a diesel engineer for Ingersoll Rand Company for 1925-1927, before joining Fairchild Caminez Engine Company (later Fairchild Aviation Corporation) from 1927 until 1930, first as an Installation Engineer and then as a test pilot. In 1930, Beard joined American Airways (predecessor of American Airlines) and rose to the rank of chief test pilot, before his retirement from the airline in 1964. Beard accumulated over 6200 hours in all types of airplanes, most of them in engineering and experimental testing. Beard played a key role in the development of the Douglas DC-3, DC-4, DC-6 and DC-7 as test and acceptance pilot for American Airlines. During World War II, he served as Chief Military Engineering Pilot of American Airlines' Military Operations Department and he worked with teams surveying the North Atlantic routes. In 1943, Beard took a leave of absence from American Airlines to go to Brazil as a member of the Defense Supply Corporation mission, which had the mission to Americanize the Brazilian airlines which previously had been part of the German aerial network of South America.

Identifier

NASM.2004.0048

Creator

Beard, Myron Gould "Dan"

Date

bulk 1930s-1960s

Provenance

Mona Beard, Gift, 2004

Extent

17.44 Cubic feet ((16 record center boxes))

Restrictions

No restrictions on access.

Type

Collection descriptions

Archival materials

Correspondence

Reports

Manuals

Notebooks

Photographs

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of approximately 15 linear feet of material relating to the aviation career of Dan Beard. This material includes the following types of archival material: correspondence, corporate reports, publications, equipment manuals, notebooks, booklets, and photographs. Besides the technical engineering material, there are also reports on airport planning, bomb detection on passengers airplanes, and cloud seeding in the southwest.

Genre/Form

Correspondence

Reports

Manuals

Notebooks

Photographs

Rights

Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests

Names

American Airlines

Fairchild Aircraft Corp

Topics Test pilots -- United States
Douglas DC-3 Family
Douglas DC-4
Douglas DC-6
Douglas DC-7

Citation

Myron "Dan" Beard Collection, Accession 2004-0048, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Archival Repository

National Air and Space Museum Archives

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