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Lee-Richards Monoplane

Lee and Richards built another aircraft, a monoplane with a conventional fuselage and tail surfaces and a 6.7-m (22-ft) diameter annular wing. The first flight on 23 November 1913 ended abruptly when the tail-heavy aircraft stalled an crashed into telegraph wires without injury to pilot E. C. Gordon England. Rebuilt, the 80-hp Gnome-engined Lee-Richards Annular Monoplane proved easy to fly. With pilot and passenger aboard it would take-off at about 48 kph (30 mph) and had a maximum speed of 137 kph (85 mph). The original aircraft flew for 1028 hours during ten months of testing and was the first truly successful flying saucer. Two more Lee-Richards Annulars were built early in 1914 for the Gordon Bennett race, and after World War I Tilghman Richards tried to interest the Air Ministry in his unusual design, without success.

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