Keane Aircraft Co
Horace P. Keane
Horace Keane was born July 29, 1885 and was raised in the town of St. Joseph, Michigan. His family was well known in theatrical circles. Horace had a genius for things mechanical, and received an engineering education at Armour Institution of Technology.
After graduation, he assisted Augustus Herring in building gliders. At the age of 17, he made his first solo in a glider from the top of a sand dune along the shore of Lake Michigan. In 1903 he toured Europe with Octave Chanute, building and flying planes of his own design. Upon his return to Amereica, he went to work for the Chicago Milwaukee Electric Railroad helping to design interurban cars.
His main interest was aviation and he was soon busy building and flying planes of his own design. Later, after World War I, he bought up a number of war surplus planes and went into barnstorming. None of his promotions proved to be financially successful.
1920: (Horace) Keane Aeroplanes, North Beach, Long Island NY.
c.1921: Acquired inventory and manufacturing rights to ACE (Aircraft Engr Co, NY). Photos of the ACE K-1 appeared in some Keane ads.
c.1925: Keane Aircraft Corp, Keyport NJ.
The Klemm design was briefly revived by Keane Aircraft Co, Keyport, in 1937.
In 1940 he organized the Zodiac Aircraft Company to produce training planes. Contracts for the planes were obtained but Keane soon found himself edged out of the picture.
After World War II, he served as a consulting engineer to a number of aircraft firms. Upon retirement, he went to live in Topanga, California. At the time of his death May 7, 1974, he was visiting his daughter in England.