Christmas, Dr. William
From GW Encyclopedia
Dr. William Whitney Christmas (1865-1960) was credited with designing the first plane equipped with ailerons. Dr. Christmas was educated at St. John's Military Academy, University of Virginia and George Washington University, and held Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and Doctor of Medicine degrees. He earned his M.D. from GW in 1905. Christmas gave up the practice of medicine early in the century to devote his time to aviation. He made several flights in March, 1908 in a plane of his own design. In 1912 he set an endurance and a ceiling record, and in 1918 he designed a plane with flexible wings. He held patent on some 300 inventions and was one of the earliest airplane pilots. He died in New York City in 1960.
Photographic Credit: n/a
Author or Source: The Early Birds of Aviation CHIRP, June, 1960
Document Location: University Archives
Date Added to Encyclopedia: December 21, 2006
Prepared by: Lyle Slovick, Assistant University Archivist
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