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Buffalo-Pitts Co Olmstead 1912 biplane
Charles Morgan Olmsted grew up in Buffalo, New York and became interested in aviation at a very early age. In 1895, when he was only fourteen, he built a glider of his own design. After attending college and getting his degree in astrophysics in Germany, he began work on a radical new propeller design (Glenn Curtiss proclaimed it to be “The finest and most efficient I have ever seen). In 1910 he joined the Buffalo-Pitts Company and began work on a biplane that featured a “monocoque” fuselage built of moulded, laminated birch, chrome-vanadium steel, and aluminium sheet. The motor and the two propellers were mounted behind the wings, pusher style. Unfortunately, in 1912, before the plane could be completely finished, the Buffalo Pitts Company went bankrupt. The nearly finished biplane went into storage and was eventually (after the wings had been sawed off to get it out of storage) donated to the Smithsonian Institution where it has remained awaiting restoration.

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