Newly published: The Speed of Air: The Story of Willard Custer and his Channel Wing Aircraft

by Joel C. Custer and Robert J. Englar

Hardcover: $34.99     Paperback: $19.90

Available now from,, and your favorite book retailer.

Joel C. Custer

Joel Custer was born in Baltimore, MD. While in college, he began collecting pictures, magazines, and corporate handout material on the Channel Wing aircraft. After graduate school, he began researching his grandfather’s patents and discussing his concept with aerodynamics experts and entrepreneurs. That research led him to corporation documents, court records, and the National Archives. For years he worked in Washington, D.C., spending his lunch hours doggedly exploring the SEC, Library of Congress, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and district court libraries, inspired to dig further with each discovery.

When Joel published his Channel Wing website (, it opened a communications link to the world. He received emails from people in New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, and France, as well as the United States, who shared Channel Wing memories, memorabilia, pictures, letters, and stories.

Robert J. Englar (1944 – 2021)

Robert J. Englar was also born in Baltimore. He was a graduate of the University of Maryland and a Principal Research Engineer at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), accumulating over 44 years of experience in advanced aerodynamic research (much of it Circulation Control Aerodynamics related), advanced concept development, and experimental techniques. As Principal Research Engineer in the Aerospace & Acoustics Technologies Division of GTRI’s Aerospace, Transportation & Advanced Systems Laboratory, Mr. Englar was responsible for research project direction and development of advanced technologies in aerodynamics.

Mr. Englar was Principal Investigator leading NASA-sponsored programs on Circulation Control Aerodynamics and pneumatic Powered Lift Aircraft. He holds 11 patents and 19 invention disclosures on these advanced concepts and published 209 papers and technical reports on these and other research projects.

He was elected as a GTRI Technical Fellow based on his involvement with advanced aerodynamics and related advanced concepts. He also taught Senior design courses in the Georgia Tech Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering Schools. He was an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and was a founding member of the original AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Technical Committee. He was elected AIAA Young Engineer/Scientist of the Year for his work on Circulation Control, received numerous professional awards, and lectured on pneumatic powered lift and advanced concepts to government agencies, technical societies, private industry and universities.

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