Hidden Genius The Black Engineer Behind Howard Hughes

H.T. Bryer

Book Cover

GENRE

BIOGRAPHICAL DRAMA

    Core Theme

    THE STORY OF A MAN HISTORY HAS FORGOTTEN FINALLY BEING TOLD

    TIME PERIOD

    20th Century (multiple decades)

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    FORREST GUMP, GREEN BOOK, THE AVIATOR

    CHARACTER LIST

    • FRANK MANN: LIVES TO 84. TALENTED, CHARMING, VISIONARY, A MECHANICAL MASTERMIND.
    • HOWARD HUGHES: 30. MENTOR, BEST FRIEND. ADVENTUROUS, BILLIONAIRE.
    • PAUL BRYER: 24. BECOMES MANN’S FRIEND LATER IN HIS LIFE. DECIDES TO TELL HIS STORY.

    Logline

    Hidden Genius is the story of Frank Calvin Mann a little known though brilliant African-American aeronautical and aerospace engineer, award winning sports car designer, and friend of and troubleshooting engineer for the world famous Howard Hughes.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 35-54

    Target Gender: Universal

    Setting

    Houston Texas, Los Angeles, Washington State

    Based on a True Story

    Yes

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Year Published: 2011

    Starting Description

    Frank was born in 1908 in Texas to an unwed teenage mother. Young Frank's mother became a teacher and married a man, also a teacher who was very jealous and critical of Frank. "When I was nine years old I had to compete with a grown man for the affection of my mother, It made me grow up fast."

    Ending Description

    1n the seventies Frank retired from Aerospace work and he returned home to Houston Texas. There he met and befriended Paul Bryer, a young contractor who made it his life's ambition to let the world know of Frank's great contributions to technology and to get his story told to the world.

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    No

    ISBN

    Information not completed

    Mature Audience Themes

    Information not completed

    Plot - Other Elements

    Coming of Age, Meaningful Message

    Plot - Premise

    The author has not yet written this

    Main Character Details

    Name: Frank Calvin Mann

    Age: 11084

    Gender: Male

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Empathetic, Heroic, Romantic, Skillful, Unapologetic, Adventurous, Aspiring, Educated, Heartthrob, Honorable, Leader, Masculine, Outspoken, Charming, Confident, Engaging, Sexy, Sophisticated, Underdog, Extraordinary Powers and Abilities, Funny, Perseverance, Visionary, Complex, Decisive, Patriotic

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Howard Hughes

    Age: 17072

    Gender: Male

    Role: Mentor

    Key Traits: Skillful, Unapologetic, Adventurous, Aspiring, Complex, Decisive, Engaging, Patriotic, Blunt, Educated, Extraordinary Powers and Abilities, Honorable

    Additional Character Details

    Name: Paul Bryer

    Age: 24

    Gender: Male

    Role: Sidekick

    Key Traits: Aspiring, Engaging, Funny, Masculine, Outspoken, Sexy, Gracious, Perseverance, Adventurous, Decisive, Honorable, Unapologetic, Charming, Complex, Faithful

    Additional Character Details

    The author has not yet written this

    Brief

    Hidden Genius is the story of Frank Calvin Mann, a little-known though brilliant African-American aeronautical and aerospace engineer, award-winning sports-car designer; who was also a friend of, and troubleshooting engineer for, famous billionaire Howard Hughes.

    What We Liked

    A mechanical mastermind, Frank Mann led a fascinating life: aeronautical engineer, car designer,
    comedian, dancer, singer, radio show host — he enjoyed all life had to offer. His role in aerospace and
    automobile engineering, however - although documented - is not widely known; his contributions to
    the world, sparsely chronicled. This story gives him his just dues, with the potential to captivate a
    wide audience. Mann had a kind-of “Forrest Gump air” about him, taking part in a variety of important
    milestones — from being the first black pilot to fly passenger planes for a major American airline, to
    influencing the design of the Corvette, making the device that holds the space shuttle to planes, and
    playing a part in Howard Hughes’ twin-engine Lockheed Model 14 Lodestar for its record-breaking
    seven-day flight around the world. This makes for a fascinating film/TV series that would touch on all
    these moments in history, with the added touch of the lead’s charm and exuberant nature.
    Key points: Frank Mann is a remarkable character; the story of his achievements has not been
    widely-told; it's linked to one of the most famous billionaires and movie producers who ever lived,
    Howard Hughes; it doesn't require a lot of different shooting locations; it's based on a real-life story
    that's entertaining as much as it is inspiring.

    Synopsis

    Born to a single mother, Frank Mann grew up in Texas. As a smitten teenager, he sees his girlfriend kissing another guy. In a rage, he goes to the South Main Airport in Houston, where he buys a $1
    ticket for an biplane ride - intending to jump out once it's airborne. The thrill of that ride, however, is a
    turning point for the boy. Flying becomes his great love, and Mann pesters the mechanics at the
    airport so much that they allow him to repair torn fabric on the airplanes and perform mechanical
    work on the engines. One day, he meets a young man who would go on to become one of the greatest
    influences in his life: Howard Hughes. Mann finishes high school and later studies aeronautical
    engineering at both the University of Minnesota and Ohio State University. In 1934, Mann contacts
    Hughes and goes to work for him in California. There, Mann also does some contract work with a
    number of other aircraft companies, and establishes friendships with several of Hollywood's major
    stars, including Errol Flynn, Humphrey Bogart, Mickey Rooney, and John Barrymore.
    Drawn to know the world, Mann becomes a reconnaissance pilot during the Ethiopian War of 1935-36.
    After a fiery encounter with Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie, who calls him a racial slur, he goes to
    Europe and joins a flying circus there, serving as a stunt pilot, wing-walker, and parachutist. Mann
    returns to America shortly before the outbreak of World War II - he serves as a flight instructor at the
    Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, where the government set up a Civilian Pilot Training program in 1940
    for African American men who wanted to learn to fly; America's effort to create a corps of flyers who
    would likely be needed in the military should the country go to war. Mann, after war is indeed
    declared, becomes an officer in the US Army Air Force. He continues his work at Tuskegee, but he
    gets into a lot of trouble for partying with the officers' wives; so Hughes pulls some strings and gets
    him out of there and back into Hughes Aircraft - where he continues to work for the next 30 years.
    Later in life, Mann’s office is broken into, and his roof damaged. The man his property manager
    recommends is a contractor called Paul Bryer, who, seeing photographs on the wall of the office,
    becomes deeply interested in Mann’s life. They become friends. After Frank’s passing in 1992, Paul
    starts a decades-long quest to make sure that story is told to the rest of the world.

    About The Author

    HT Bryer took up writing to tell the little-known story of Frank Mann. He and his brother, Paul, a long-time friend and confidant of Mann, have spent over two decades researching this story.