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Metcalf 1913 multiplane
This machine was created, promoted, and built by Ralph Metcalf, a farmer and carpenter from Driscoll, Valley City, North Dakota, and founder of the Metcalf Multiplane Company. He wanted to design an airplane that could take off and land from either land or water. The main body looked like a slender fishing boat with a curved prow, ready to take off or land on a lake, yet with attached wheels for alighting on land. With about twenty wings arrayed in five layers, the machine looked like a "huge bird with wings outstretched". It had a "double propeller system" with "two fans moving in opposite directions", powered by a six-cylinder engine. The corporation planned to open an aircraft factory in Minneapolis once the plane had proven its flying capabilities. Much time passed from the incorporation of the company in 1910 until the full-sized aircraft was ready for a test flight in the summer of 1913. Aviator Metcalf steered his Multiplane out of his large Granger Hill workshop to the runway. Alas, it refused to leave the ground. Mr. Metcalf promised the disappointed multitude that he would revamp the aircraft for another trial. Unfortunately, his health failed him and he died in 1918 after several operations.
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