Francis Joseph McCabe, 77, of Mt. Airy, an inventor and owner of businesses in Bucks County, died of a heart attack March 15 at Chestnut Hill Hospital.
Mr. McCabe, who was the holder of more than 100 patents, founded Prefco Products, a fire and smoke damper manufacturer, in 1968 in Buckingham. From the air and wind technology created during his time at Prefco, he perfected the world's fastest and lowest wind-responding wind-turbine airfoil.
He also founded the Lev/Air firm in Doylestown, where he created the most powerful max-torque windmill airfoil system. At Lev/Air he also developed the first car to run solely on compressed air, powered by a low RPM, high-torque windmill.
Mr. McCabe, who held a NASA certification, had worked for and with Boeing and NASA engineers on a variety of projects.
In later life, he became interested in gyroscopic physics and conducted a 30-year string of experiments in gyroscopic motion in a Bucks County barn. In an interview with the Chestnut Hill Local in 2013, he said he believed that the spiral energy he called “gyroscopic procession” had the potential to become the world's most powerful generator of energy and power.
Mr. McCabe taught gyroscopic science to young people at the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential in Wyndmoor and at The Quaker School at Horsham.
Raised in Northeast Philadelphia, he was a graduate of Northeast Catholic High School for Boys. He studied mechanical engineering at Drexel University and left to join the Navy, where he served as a pilot and a flight training leader.
He served on the boards of the Central Bucks County Chamber of Commerce and the Bucks County Association for Retarded Children.
He is survived by daughters Diane and Alison McCabe; brothers James and John McCabe, and sisters Aileen McClure and Ann Carroll.
A funeral Mass was celebrated March 22 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Doylestown, with interment in Resurrection Cemetery, Bensalem.
Memorial donations can be made to the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential, 8801 Stenton Ave., Wyndmoor, PA 19038 or at www.IAHP.org. – WF