The Fokker Y1C-14B, like the Y1C-14A, was simply a C-14 (S/N 31-381) with a different engine installed. In the case of the Y1C-14B, a Pratt & Whitney R-1690-5 radial engine was installed in place of the original R-1750 radial.
The most significant contribution of the C-14B was as a test aircraft during development of an automatic landing system beginning in 1935. A team of engineers at Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio, worked for two years on the system. The C-14B was fitted with radio receivers, electrical components and mechanical linkages and made the first fully automatic landing on 23 August 1937.
During this historic flight, the three senior project officers were onboard as observers: Capt. Carl Crane, Director of the Instrument and Navigation Laboratory; Capt. George Holloman, Assistant Director; and Mr. Raymond Stout, project engineer. A project report written by Crane and his team had the following description of the project, its purpose and benefits:
|"For more than a year Air Corps test airplanes have been flown automatically over distances that have indicated the thorough reliability of the devices employed. This was one step in the perfection of automatic landing.
The features that are built into the automatic landing system are not only useful for the landing, but are used throughout the entire flight. Test airplanes from Wright Field have been flown automatically from Wright Field as far as Texas and return under automatic control. Several flights have been made to Buffalo, Newark, thence to Langley Field, Va., and return to Wright Field. Obviously the automatic landing involves other factors besides control of direction. These factors are control of altitude, engine control, glide control and further engine control after landing.
In the execution of the automatic landing, using the Air Corps system, it is necessary for the pilot to bring the plane to a definite altitude, determined by the sensitive altimeter, and to place the machine within the range of radio reception of the ground radio facilities. It is, of course, desirable to place the airplane generally in the direction in which it is expected to land, but this is not necessary, as was determined in flight.
Once the master landing switch is closed, the plane proceeds through the following routine: