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Reproduced from the Centennial Edition of the Brainerd Daily Dispatch (1871-1971).
Reproduced exactly as published in 1971 - no updates, no corrections.


Wright Brothers Model G Plane Flew Over Area


Undoubtedly the most famous airplane ever flown over the Brainerd area, was a two-motored Wright Brothers Model G, aeroboat first owned in this area by a man known only as Ednester of Deerwood between 1915-1920.

Only three Wright Brothers Model G aeroboats were ever made. The plane flown here was built in 1914 and was first sold to a Toledo Light company pilot named Harry Attwood.

How it got to Deerwood is anyone's guess, Although it is possible someone living in that area at the time could shed some light on the mystery.

Bo Rappel made repairs to the plane shortly after he bought it in 1921 and he flew it on several occasions until he had a minor crash. Then it was stored at Nokay Lake.

Later the engines, propeller and boat hull were sold to Clarence Olson for experimentation and some years later parts of the plane turned up in the attic of a garage at 420 North 10th street, former Olson residence.

In 1930 the plane crashed and. since that time parts have been turned up in several places near here.

E. D. Weeks, a private collector of pioneer aviation material in Des Moines, Iowa, gathered parts of the plane for the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

In a letter to The Dispatch, Weeks said photos of the old plane undoubtedly exist as the old ship "must have been very newsworthy in Brainerd's history."

Since Weeks began collecting parts of the old seaplane he learned the location of parts of the wings in a shallow swamp near what was once called the Gibbons Resort on Nokay lake. He was aided in finding the badly-weathered wing sections by Robert Greenhow, owner of the resort, in 1956.

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