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Alberta's Aviation Heritage
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William Wallace Gibson

William Wallace Gibson arrived from British Columbia to a farm outside Calgary in early August 1911. Gibson had come to Alberta to fly his "multi-plane": a successful craft with many narrow wings.

Most significant was the fact that Gibson had built his own engine in his workshop in BC, creating the first successful aircraft engine in Canada. It was a six cylinder, three-carburettor engine that performed very well, and is now displayed in Canada’s National Aviation Museum.

Gibson’s multi-plane flew several successful flights with the most notable occurring on 11 August 1911. Alex Jaap, who flew the craft for about one and one-half kilometres, landed the aircraft in a muddy slough. The sudden stop caused the machine to collapse. Like others at the time, Gibson could not raise the funds he needed to continue developing his aircraft.

 

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Alberta's Aviation Heritage

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