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The outstanding feature of the L. W. F. planes was the molded, laminated plywood fuselage, which was the first monocoque type construction used for aircraft in the United States. Willard had designed this body in California earlier and later worked out the method of construction in detail at Buffalo. The first L. W. F. tractor biplane was completed in June, 1916, using a 135 h.p., Vee-8 Sturtevant engine and proved successful from the start. Willard and Fowler withdrew from the L. W. F. Company during midsummer that year but the firm became quite a factor during World War I. Following this Willard joined the Aeromarine Plane and Motor Company at Keyport, New Jersey, as Chief Engineer where he remained until into the 1920's. There, during World War I, he was responsible for the Aeromarine Vee-8, 190 h.p. engine and many military designs of both land and water planes. During World War I he served on the Lockhart Mission of the Bureau of Aircraft Production and was sent to Europe to investigate aircraft construction methods there. In France he condemned further work on the World War I Caproni plane program. the Rocky Mountain Steel Products, producers of special 4 and 6-speed trans About 1926 he returned to California and later was Chief Engineer of missions used in cars and trucks for mountain driving. While there Willard designed a 9-cylinder, 225 h.p., radial air-cooled aircraft engine, known as the "Pegasus." In 1929 Willard became Vice President and Chief Engineer of the California Aviation Company, a finance group to start an air freight package service across the United States. The construction of an all-metal plane was started and a 9-cylinder, 400 h.p, diesel engine was to power it. Just as this ambitious project was nicely under way the company folded up due to depression to the early thirties. Willard then turned his interest of the metal salvage business and founded a salvage and chemical plant to conduct such an enterprise, which he carried on until World War II. 8.
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