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Tips Biplane
Tips Biplane (second version)

Belgian brothers Maurice and Ernest Tips designed in 1908 a machine that would rise and land vertically while transitioning to and from horizontal flight. Their solution to this challenge opted for a canard type biplane, driven by three-bladed propellers which could be rotated, thus given the need for space, the middle section of the wing was almost completely open. The engine to power this complex design was Belgian-made by the firm Pipe, and construction was done in Etterbeeke (now part of Brussels). The machine was not successful however, and the brothers persevered onward and re-designed their machine – using as many parts as already available – whereas they dropped the idea of starting and landing vertically. The second version of the Tips machine was a biplane which resembled the original quite closely, but fitted with two “fixed” two-bladed propellers. Almost everything else was the same, save the engine of Pipe which was at a later time changed to a 50 hp Gnôme rotary. The machine flew during 1909 and 1910 earning the distinction (with the Pipe engine that is) of being the first Belgian plane of construction (inclusive the engine) to do so.

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