Roy Francis 1913 Patterson Twin Tractor BiPlane
1913 Patterson Twin Tractor
First Albuquerque Visit: 1913
The Patterson & Francis Aviation Company was an American aircraft manufacturer and repair service in the earliest days of powered flight. The company started as the Patterson Aeroplane Company, based in San Francisco, California. In 1912, Charles H. Patterson built and tested his own aircraft based on a Nieuport design. Later aircraft included twin tractor designs from his future partners, Roy Francis and Frank Bryant. Together, they produced two of the Patterson Twin pusher biplanes, one twin-engine tractor seaplane, which Francis flew in the 1913 Great Lakes Reliability Tour, and one Twin Tractor Dual-prop single-engine tractor aircraft designed by Francis. Francis used this plane for his barn storming tours of the US.
Captain Roy Newell Francis (1886- 1952) born in Santa Clara County, California is considered one of the “early birds” of American aviation. In 1911, he took off from Cow Flat near the Presidio of San Francisco, and made a successful flight in a biplane he designed. On November 18, 1912, Francis and his Patterson Twin pusher biplane made the first passenger flight over the San Francisco Bay carrying local passenger Vivian O’Brian. The plane took off from Alameda and landed near Cliff House in San Francisco. In 1912 Francis partnered with Charles Patterson to form the Patterson-Francis Aviation Company based in San Francisco, California. Francis quit barn storming a few years later and became an Army captain in the First World War
In the fall of 1913, Francis brought his Patterson Twin Tractor biplane to the New Mexico Territorial fair grounds in Albuquerque’s Old Town. This plane had a seat for a passenger who sat in front of the pilot. Francis was touring as a “barn-stormer” during that time and offered short flights on his plane to local residents. On Francis’ first flight, he attempted to photograph the flight but the pictures were blurry. Francis then rented what he referred to as the “only high-speed camera in town.” On his next flight, Francis flew his Twin Tractor biplane around Albuquerque with local resident Roy Stamm as the passenger. Stamm took a number of photos of the city from the air during the flight. Roy Stamm then became the first person to take a picture of Albuquerque from an airplane. Roy Francis and his biplane crashed at the Wyoming State Fair in Douglas, Wyoming later in 1913.
One of the events during the visit was to have a race with an automobile.
The way Francis carried a passenger aboard in the plane was to be seated behind the pilot.
Roy Stamm’s early photographs of Albuquerque from his ride in the Francis biplane.
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