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Williams Model 1


The Williams Model 1 appears to have been a 40hp Curtiss pusher powered biplane, purchased from Beavers. Whatever the case, the Model 1 had been abandoned sometime during the winter of 1912; as the pioneer aviator, Elling O. Weeks, was making test-flights of the new Williams Model 2 Pusher Biplane, at Forty Fort, Pennsylvania, by 22 May 1912.
Williams held several U.S. patents, and his application for an aircraft windscreen, is accompanied by a 6 January 1912 photo of what is almost certainly the second (or third) incarnation of the Model 1. In this form, the span is probably much longer than the Model 2. The rear vertical rudder is rectangular, and a monoplane canard is fitted. Additionally, the undercarriage consists of twin main skis, a rear ski, and a single front wheel; the overall aircraft appearing to be a Curtiss-type. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that a photo in the Scranton Times (Tuesday, December 5, 1911, cover) appears to show the same aircraft, clearly a Curtiss-type, fitted with an all-wheel undercarriage. Thus, we can conclude that Williams’ first aircraft was not a monoplane, but was a Curtiss-type biplane. In fact, the January 1911 description of the Beavers Biplane in Aeronautics, does appear to describe a Curtiss-type, and does match-up with the Scranton Times photo; the exception being the addition of the monoplane canard, revised flight controls, and elimination of the rear biplane elevator; long after the January 1911 Aeronautics article was published.
Although the first of Williams' aircraft was not of his or his wife's design—the builder was described only as "a local resident"—its airworthiness was so marginal that Williams modified and improved it to such extent that it might as well have been his. In final form it had a 60hp Curtiss, 31'0"span, Farman-type gear and trailing-edge ailerons, and flew successfully in exhibitions.

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