This is Robert Edison Fulton Jr.  From the Wiki page:

Born in Manhattan, New York on April 15, 1909 and named for Thomas Edison, who was a friend of his father, Robert Fulton, Sr. His father was also a president of Mack Trucks. His maternal grandfather, Ezra Johnson Travis, ran stagecoach lines across the old west after the Civil War and his uncle, Elgin  Travis, who took them over from his father, eventually converted the  stagecoach routes into bus lines, which became Greyhound Bus Line. As a teenager he was in the elite when he traveled by commercial aircraft from Miami, Florida, to Havana, Cuba, in 1921. And then to Egypt when Tutankhamun's tomb was opened in 1923. He attended middle school at Le Rosey in Lausanne, Switzerland for 2 years, then went to Exeter and Choate, graduated with a degree in architecture from Harvard in 1931, and spent a further year of architectural study in Vienna, at the University of Vienna. Then, at age 23, he traveled 25,000 miles (from London to Tokyo in 18 months) on a twin-cylinder Douglas motorcycle, to study architecture around the world. 
Upon his return he detailed his adventures in a book, One Man Caravan, telling of being shot at in the Khyber Pass by Pathan (Pashtun) tribesmen, avoiding Iraqi bandits, a night’s stay in a Turkish jail, and being a guest of Indian rajahs.[4] He went on a lecture tour of the United States, showing his film  footage and telling of his journeys. In 1983 he produced, edited, and  released, with his filmmaking sons, a 90 minute film compiled from his  home movies, The One Man Caravan of Robert E. Fulton, Jr. An Autofilmography.[2][5]
He then went to work for Pan American Airways,  using his skills in cinematography to document the Pan American Clipper  (flying boat) air routes from New York to South America and across the  Pacific Ocean, just prior to World War II. He then formed a company to  manufacture aeronautical equipment, Continental Inc.[3]
After the war, he designed and built an airplane that was convertible to be an automobile, called the “Airphibian" (Here is a link to a website honoring the Airphibian), because of the time it took to travel to demonstrate the gunnery trainer.[1][2]Charles Lindbergh flew it 1950 and, although it was not a commercial success (financial  costs of air worthiness certification forced him to relinquish control  of the company, which never developed it further), it is now in the Smithsonian.[2]
During the 1950s, after studying the way trains in Britain pick up mail bags by the side of the tracks,[2] Fulton developed the Fulton surface-to-air recovery system, also called the Skyhook for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the United States Navy, and the United States Air Force. It was a system that was used to pick up people from the ground with an aircraft.[6][7] It was used by the United States Air Force until 1996. A sister invention for Navy frogmen was called Seasled.[2]


Batman used a Fulton Extraction System in The Dark Knight.  It’s real, and the CIA used it to pick up operatives from the 60s through the 90s.

This is Robert Edison Fulton Jr.  From the Wiki page:

Born in Manhattan, New York on April 15, 1909 and named for Thomas Edison, who was a friend of his father, Robert Fulton, Sr. His father was also a president of Mack Trucks. His maternal grandfather, Ezra Johnson Travis, ran stagecoach lines across the old west after the Civil War and his uncle, Elgin Travis, who took them over from his father, eventually converted the stagecoach routes into bus lines, which became Greyhound Bus Line. As a teenager he was in the elite when he traveled by commercial aircraft from Miami, Florida, to Havana, Cuba, in 1921. And then to Egypt when Tutankhamun's tomb was opened in 1923. He attended middle school at Le Rosey in Lausanne, Switzerland for 2 years, then went to Exeter and Choate, graduated with a degree in architecture from Harvard in 1931, and spent a further year of architectural study in Vienna, at the University of Vienna. Then, at age 23, he traveled 25,000 miles (from London to Tokyo in 18 months) on a twin-cylinder Douglas motorcycle, to study architecture around the world. 

Upon his return he detailed his adventures in a book, One Man Caravan, telling of being shot at in the Khyber Pass by Pathan (Pashtun) tribesmen, avoiding Iraqi bandits, a night’s stay in a Turkish jail, and being a guest of Indian rajahs.[4] He went on a lecture tour of the United States, showing his film footage and telling of his journeys. In 1983 he produced, edited, and released, with his filmmaking sons, a 90 minute film compiled from his home movies, The One Man Caravan of Robert E. Fulton, Jr. An Autofilmography.[2][5]

He then went to work for Pan American Airways, using his skills in cinematography to document the Pan American Clipper (flying boat) air routes from New York to South America and across the Pacific Ocean, just prior to World War II. He then formed a company to manufacture aeronautical equipment, Continental Inc.[3]

After the war, he designed and built an airplane that was convertible to be an automobile, called the “Airphibian" (Here is a link to a website honoring the Airphibian), because of the time it took to travel to demonstrate the gunnery trainer.[1][2]Charles Lindbergh flew it 1950 and, although it was not a commercial success (financial costs of air worthiness certification forced him to relinquish control of the company, which never developed it further), it is now in the Smithsonian.[2]

During the 1950s, after studying the way trains in Britain pick up mail bags by the side of the tracks,[2] Fulton developed the Fulton surface-to-air recovery system, also called the Skyhook for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the United States Navy, and the United States Air Force. It was a system that was used to pick up people from the ground with an aircraft.[6][7] It was used by the United States Air Force until 1996. A sister invention for Navy frogmen was called Seasled.[2]

Batman used a Fulton Extraction System in The Dark Knight.  It’s real, and the CIA used it to pick up operatives from the 60s through the 90s.

Posted on: Jul 21, 2011 at 1:25 PM

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  1. maddmaxjack reblogged this from 5window and added:
    Awesome, this man and his family were amazing pioneers.
  2. samthemanwithshoeson reblogged this from 5window
  3. titosanchez2032 reblogged this from 5window
  4. 5window reblogged this from jeffzie
  5. jeffzie reblogged this from gibsart
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  7. gibsart reblogged this from steampunkvehicles
  8. 4tapes reblogged this from my-stupid-url
  9. tutmondigo reblogged this from steampunkvehicles and added:
    Has anyone ever read this guys book? I’m interested.
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  14. dulcisdomus reblogged this from lonelycoast
  15. lonelycoast reblogged this from steampunkvehicles and added:
    This guy was a bad mother fucker. And I want that outfit for Burning Man.
  16. mavrixwk reblogged this from steampunkvehicles
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