Fred A. Thaheld Collection

Summary
Collection ID:
NASM.2016.0042
Dates:
bulk 1924-1953
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
0.26 Cubic Feet
(2 containers)
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection consists of .26 cubic feet of articles, drawings, and images chronicling Fred A. Thaheld's aeronautical engineering career, including his work with the following aircraft diesel engines: Guiberson Diesel A-918, Guiberson Diesel A-980 and Guiberson Diesel T-1020. There is also information regarding the aircraft designed by Thaheld, including the Tremaine Humming Bird "The Spirit of John Rodgers," and images of Fred Thaheld, Allen Guiberson, W.D. Shaffer, Sir Hubert Wilkins, and Art Goebel, who was a test pilot for Guiberson Diesel engines. There are also a few images of diesel aircraft engines that were repurposed as wind machines to protect orchards from frost, and the manual, "Guiberson Radial Diesel Engine Instruction Manual for Model T-1020 Series 5."

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Fred A. Thaheld (1902-1981) was a self-taught engineer born in Austria, who first became acquainted with engines due to his involvement with German motorcycle racing after World War I. Thaheld worked his way as a seaman on merchant ships to South America, and then on to Southern California in 1921. He settled in Brea, California, and began building a low-wing monoplane in the garage of William Tremaine, pilot and co-founder of the Brea Air Club; that aircraft was flown in air meets in Southern California in 1924-1925. Thaheld then built for Tremaine the Tremaine Humming Bird "Spirit of John Rodgers" for his planned non-stop flight to Japan. Instead, the "Spirit of John Rodgers" was used by Naval Lieutenants George Covell and Richard Waggener for their entry in the Dole Air Race. Unfortunately, they crashed the aircraft at Point Loma, California, on the way to the start of the race in Oakland, California. The loss of "The Spirit of John Rodger," ended Thaheld's aeronautical engineering with Tremaine, and Thaheld began his work of designing and building diesel aircraft engines. In 1929, Thaheld was the Chief Engineer of the Guiberson Diesel Engine Company where he directed aircraft diesel engines development, and built the following engines for aircraft: Guiberson Diesel A-980 185-hp 9-Cylinder Radial; Guiberson Diesel A-918 240-hp & A-980 185-hp Radials; and Guiberson Diesel T-1020 9-Cylinder Radial Tank Engine. While the engines were installed and successfully flown in aircraft, they were not a commercial success and Guiberson and Thaheld instead sold their various diesel engines to the US Army for tanks. Thaheld then became the principal in Diesel Power Inc., a division of Shaffer Tool Works of Brea, California, and during the mid-1940s, designed a 90 horsepower diesel engine for light aircraft which he used in his Stinson 10-A. Thaheld held over 30 patents in engine design and become a naturalized US citizen in 1943.

Administration
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Fred Thaheld, Gift, 2016

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
No restrictions on access.
Preferred Citation
Fred A. Thaheld Collection, Accession 2016-0042, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Use
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

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Aeronautics Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Airplanes -- Motors Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tremaine Humming Bird "The Spirit of John Rodgers" Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Publications Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Guiberson Diesel Engine Company Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Air and Space Museum Archives
14390 Air & Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA 20151
NASMRefDesk@si.edu
http://airandspace.si.edu/research/resources/archives/