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Christmas Red Bird
Red Bird I
Christmas did patent, build, and fly a biplane of his own design in 1909. This aircraft, known as the Red Bird, was representative of many of his later designs and can be distinguished by its anhedral (down-sloping) upper wings and dihedral (up-sloping) lower wings. Another noteworthy tidbit about this design is that it appears to be a virtual copy of a plane built by a company named AEA that was, interestingly enough, also known as the Red Bird. In the words of one historian, "the eccentric Dr. Christmas was not above employing the ideas of others" and may well have patented another company's design!
September 1910
Nonetheless, the success of the first of three iterations of Red Bird and a modified Red Bird II led to the founding of the Christmas Aeroplane Company based in Washington, DC, in 1910. The company became the Durham Christmas Aeroplane Sales & Exhibition Company around 1912 and later the Cantilever Aero Company after moving to Copiague, NY, in 1918.

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