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Fighter Jock Inventor

Posted by Jolly on September 25, 2012

Walter Fredrick Morrison

What's the greatest invention of all time? The clock, the electric light bulb, the personal computer? All that stuff is nice and very practical but when it comes down to something that really impacts humanity you'd certainly have to throw (pun intended) the Frisbee into the discussion as the greatest invention ever. And, what makes the Frisbee story even more kickass to us here at Fighter Pilot University is the fact that the Frisbee was invented by a fighter pilot.
Walter Fredrick Morrison, Fred, was a California kid who, in 1937, at the age of 17, came up with the idea of a flying disc as an entertainment and casual athletic device. Fred started with a popcorn can lid, then cake pans. While throwing a cake pan to his girlfriend on the Santa Monica beach someone offered him 25 cents for the pan. Knowing that cake pans only cost 5 cents Fred saw an opportunity. Well, he married the girlfriend and started his business, "Flyin' Cake Pans," selling them on the beaches of California.
Fred's improved aerodynamics knowledge came about as a result of World War II. He served in the Army Air Corps as a P-47 Thunderbolt fighter pilot in Europe. Maybe not the most illustrious career there, he was shot down over Italy and was held as a POW for 48 days. But, he put his knew found knowledge to good use when, back home, in 1946 he sketched a design for a new flying disc that was much more aerodynamically efficient which he called the "Whirlo-Way." In 1948 after making further improvements to his design he began producing his first plastic discs, now called "Flyin-Saucers." In 1955, what pretty much resembles today's disc, Fred's product was now called the "Pluto Platter." Then in 1957 Fred sold his rights to Wham-O, who changed the name a year later to Frisbee, a name change to avoid trademark infringement with the Frisbie Pie Company.
Fred died recently at the age of 90. He continued to receive royalties from Wham-O throughout his life which climbed into the millions. Today there are over twenty competitive games utilizing the Frisbee including Guts, Disk Golf and Ultimate. Above is a picture of Fred with his invention. You can see the intelligence and determination of the typical fighter pilot. It's guys like Fred that shows fighter pilots bring a lot more to the world than just kickassness.  Yes, Fred Morrison is just one more reason the world can give thanks that there are fighter pilots in this world.

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Posted by butch71 on
A good article. I like it.
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