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Lee-Richards Biplane

Englishman, G.J.A. Kitchen of Lancaster, patented a circular or annular wing and sold the rights to Cedric Lee, who built an annular-winged biplane powered by a 50-hp Gnome rotary engine in 1911. This 'Kitchen Doughnut' was wrecked by a gale during tests. Lee and his engineer Tilghman Richards continued to experi-ment with gliders and with wind-tunnel test models at the National Physical Labora-tory and soon discovered that the circular wing had some very desirable properties. It continued to provide lift at extreme angles of incidence, and had a gentle stall. Further-more, a round wing could have a span or diameter less than half that of a conventional surface of the same lifting area.

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