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duly acknowledged by the Signal Corps. The contract was awarded to the Wright brothers. Cato continued his intensive study of aeronautics and soloed on October 15, 1909. In rapid succession he constructed and flew three Curtiss-type biplanes, one Bleriot-type monoplane, and did considerable revising of engines so they would run, as well as converting some automobile engines for use in his airplanes. Most of his plane building and experimenting was done as a spare time activity, devoting his evenings and weekends to this work while employed as a machinist and gasoline engine repairman. During this period Cato became acquainted with H.W. Blakley who already knew how to fly. He assisted Cato with his work and improved his flying ability. At times Cato did airframe and engine work for other local private plane builders to earn money for his own program. During 1912 and 1913 Cato and Blakley flew some exhibition engagements together at nearby places. Blakley later left California to join Capt. Thomas S. Baldwin's team of exhibition aviators, then in 1915 went with the Sloane Aeroplane Company of Bound Brook, New Jersey. There Blakley saw an opening for Cato and wired an offer [[strikethrough]] to [[/strikethrough]] that he join them on experimental development work. Cato accepted in November, 1915, remaining until April, 1916, when both he and Blakley left to join the L.W.F. (Lowe, Willard and Fowler) Engineering Company at College Point, Long Island, New York. There Cato become Experimental Aeronautical Engineer and assistant to the General Manger. With his assistance, the L.W.F. planes attained considerable renown, including such features as a full monocoque, molded plywood fuselage. This form of construction led to an association of the initials L.W.F., with Laminated Wood Fuselage. Other unusual features were armor protection for vital areas and the pilot, and control surfaces that were so balanced aerodynamically that the pilot's physical efforts were reduced. For the earlier L.W.F. airplanes the power was a 135 h.p. V-8 Thomas engine. In a later airplane a Liberty-8 was installed. Further improvements resulted in the first installation of a Liberty-12 engine which was a principal national effort of World War-I. It was flight tested in January 1918. These airplanes had exceptionally good performance. -2-
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