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William Wallace Gibson | Airplane Inventor

william gibson

From Balgonie SK

William Wallace Gibson created the first Canadian-built airplane.

  • Born in 1876 at Dalmellington, Scotland.

  • Resided in Balgonie, Saskatchewan

  • Died in 1965 in San Francisco, California.

William Wallace Gibson successfully flew his airplane in September 1910 near Victoria, BC. Before that, the first aeroplane engine was built in Balgonie, Saskatchewan, in 1905. The engine from this historic plane is located in the National Aviation Museum in Ottawa. A replica of the airplane is located in the Smithsonian Museum in New York, and the BC Aviation Museum in Victoria.

A full-scale replica of the Gibson Twin-plane at the BC Aviation Museum.

A second aircraft, the Multi-Plane (with 4 narrow sprucewood wings), is reported to have flown successfully the following year near Calgary before being wrecked in a crash.
Gibson was the subject of the 1991 stop-motion animated short The Balgonie Birdman.
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Balgonie is a town located in south-eastern Saskatchewan. It was first settled in 1876 by Scottish settlers and was established before the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) arrived in 1882.

Postcard: Kings hotel in Balgonie SK, 1914

Saskatchewan Trip 2016
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