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Barnhart remained with Martin until early 1914 when he left to build a plane of his design in Fresno, California. After this he assisted Thomas J. Hill build a Bleriot-copy monoplane at Venice, California, then in June he went to North Island, San Diego, California to work for Curtiss as a general mechanic on plane and engine maintenance. There he assisted in many routine re-building and repair projects and did considerable flying, including flying boats. He also aided Curtiss in building some experimental training planes in late 1914 and early 1915.

Barnhart left Curtiss in April, 1915 to design and build a plane for Curtiss student Ledyard Blake. Returning to Los Angeles, with six employees Barnhart completed this plane in six weeks. It was an advanced design, neat tractor biplane powered by a Curtiss OX-2 engine. Blake made the initial flight with this plane at Griffith Park flying field on June 1st and it proved to be a very unusual machine, easily flown, with fine performance and it is recorded that it saw active service by several pilots through 1925 in training, stunt work and racing.

After completing this project Barnhart returned to North Island, started to work for the Signal Corps, U.S. Army, where he engaged in engineering, and remained there until World War I when he was transferred to Wilbur Wright Field at Fairfield, Ohio as an engineer and research consultant. 

From May, 1918 to March, 1919 Barnhart was at Standard Aircraft Corporation, Elizabeth, New Jersey as Assistant to the President, then later was assigned Chief Engineer in the Handley-Page Engineering Department. From March until October he was with the B. F. Goodrich Rubber Company, Akron, Ohio as an engineer on Government assignment, then from October to January, 1920 he inspected Government flying fields before returning to California. 

From January 20th until September, 1921 he was with the C. Robert Little Aircraft Works, Pasadena, California where he designed and supervised the construction of a twin-engine 50 foot span, folding wing tractor biplane, powered by two Curtiss OXX engines. Called the "Wampus-Kat", it was flight tested by G. G. Budwig. This plane proved highly efficient and was flown for some time by a number of pilots. Barnhart himself flew it in a weight carrying contest in an Air Rodeo at Long

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