Alexander V. Wilson’s New Aeroplane – 1908

   Alexander V. Wilson’s New Aeroplane- 1908

    On October 17, 1908, it was reported in the The Evening Times that a man named Alexander V. Wilson of Bangor, Maine, had built an “aeroplane” that didn’t need a motor which he had brought to New York City for a demonstration.  He was issued a patent for his invention on Sept. 1, 1908.

     The article stated in part, “So confident is he (Wilson) of success that he is prepared to put in a bid to the government for a naval aeroplane as soon as the official specifications are issued.”   

     It went on to state Wilson had built, “several machines within the last dozen years. He has also flown with them.”  Wilson reportedly conducted his flying experiments on frozen Eagle Lake near Bar Harbor in the winter, and along Maine’s coastline in the summer.

     “Of course,” said Mr. Wilson, “I can only rise in the air and remain there without a motor provided there is sufficient wind.  Therefore it is best to have a small motor to rise when the atmosphere is still, but with any kind of wind the motor may be shut off  and I can fly as easily without it against the wind as with it, and control my machine perfectly”  This would seem to indicate that Wilson’s aircraft did have a motor, but that it could be shut off during flight and the plane could remain airborne.   

     Wilson’s invention was 36 feet long, (Wingspan not stated.) with four flexible wings, two in front, and two aft.   The pilot would bend the wings as need for steering and landing, and controlled their movement with a moving fulcrum.   

Wilson was scheduled to demonstrate his invention at Morris Park race track on November 4th.

 Source: The (Pawtucket, R.I.) Evening Times, “This Airship Does Not Need A Motor”, October 17, 1908, Pg. 11.


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