William Whitney Christmas
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William Whitney Christmas
William Whitney Christmas
William Whitney Christmas in 1915.jpg
Christmas in 1915
Born(1865-09-01)September 1, 1865
DiedApril 14, 1960(1960-04-14) (aged 94)
EducationSt. John's Military Academy
University of Virginia, B.S. and M.S.
George Washington University, M.D. (1905)
May Norris

William Whitney Christmas, M.D. (September 1, 1865 - April 14, 1960) was a physician, pioneer aviator, and supposed con man. He was one of many claimants for an early design of the aileron.[1] He was a vice-president of the General Development Corporation.[2][3]


He was born in September 1, 1865 in Warrenton, North Carolina to James Yancey Christmas and Rhoda Gaines. He attended the St. John's Military Academy then the University of Virginia where he obtained a bachelor degree and a masters degree. He graduated from George Washington University in 1905 with an M.D.[3]

He married May Norris in 1899 in Maryland, and they had as their son, Whitney Norris Christmas.

He designed the Christmas Bullet in 1918; the airplane had no wing struts and crashed on its maiden flight, killing the pilot. He then built a second aircraft with the same unstable design which also crashed on its maiden flight, killing the pilot.[4][5]

In retirement he was still proposing improbable aeroplane designs.[6]

He died at Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, New York City of pneumonia on April 14, 1960.[1]


Aircraft designed by Christmas, some of which never left the drawing board, but most introduced some novel aviation patent or other. (1910: (Dr William Whitney) Christmas Aeroplane Co, Washington DC. c.1912: Durham Christmas Aeroplane Sales & Exhibition Co. 1918: Cantilever Aero Co, Copiague, NY.)[7]


  1. ^ a b "In Memoriam". Early Birds of Aviation. June 1, 1960. Retrieved .
  2. ^ "William Whitney Christmas (1865-1960)". Smithsonian Institution Archives. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 2015.
  3. ^ a b Callie Freed (December 21, 2011). "Mr. Christmas And His Flights Of Fancy". Library of Virginia. Retrieved .
  4. ^ "World's Worst Planes: The Aircraft That That Failed". BBC Future Media. British Broadcasting Corporation. 22 May 2014. Retrieved 2015.
  5. ^ "The Christmas Bullet Was The Worst Plane Ever Made". Foxtrot Alpha. Gizmodo Media Group. 19 April 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  6. ^ "Sky Giant Is Urged By Air Pioneer, 85. Dr. Christmas Plans Plane Like Battleship. His New Paper Dooms Counterfeiters". The New York Times. September 1, 1950. Retrieved .
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Eckland, K.O. (2008-08-15). "American airplanes: Ca - Ci". Aerofiles.com. Retrieved .

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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