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
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.