The Historical Burgess-Dunne

This photo is an original. It shows a Burgess-Dunne with pilot Clifford Webster, and its owner, circa 1915.

The picture is of a New York doctor who purchased the plane to fly into the remote Adirondack lake country to make summer house calls on his wealthy patients.

The story goes that the Doc returned the plane to the factory for routine maintenance after flying it for quite some time.

The factory then proceeded to make some changes to the cockpit controls without telling the doc. He soon discovered after take off that something was drastically wrong.

They had deliberately REVERSED the left and right aileron controls to correct a design defect so that the plane couldn't accidentally drop a wing into the water when banking into a turn.

The good doctor nearly crashed before figuring this out.

The U.S. Navy ordered 6 of these but most were destroyed in a fire at the factory before delivery.

Burgess-Dunne #2 was bought by the Canadian Army and was Canada's first military aircraft.

The aircraft was flown by Clifford Webster to Quebec City where it was loaded onto a ship for the Atlantic crossing, but never made it intact.

The ship encountered rough seas and the plane which was simply lashed to the deck and left completely assembled was destroyed.

The Burgess-Dunne was built by two mathematicans. Dunne was an Englishman who designed and built planes in England. He actually built two test aircraft. Later, a Dunne appeared in a static display at the Paris Air Show in 1915.

Burgess was an American boat & aircraft builder who had the necessary skills and manufacturing facilities to build and modify Dunne's design.

The first plane Dunne built was equipped with wheels instead of pontoons. After Burgess acquired the rights to the Dunne aircraft design, he quickly learned that the plane was a very stable flying machine but it wanted to fly directly into the wind.

It was very sensitive to cross winds and even a 10 degree off heading breeze could make for a tricky landing.

It was therefore decided to make it into a sea plane so cross winds could not affect it's landing path.

This is just a brief history of the plane. Barry MacKeracher is the builder and present owner of an exact replica of this fascinating craft. He's spent years researching it and has all kinds of pictures, documents, and drawings that go with this aircraft.

YOU can now become part of that history by becoming its new owner. Please look at the several other pages on this site to find out more.

     # History



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B.D MacKeracher
2726 Yorks Cor Rd.
RR1 Metcalfe, Ont, KOA 2PO
Phone: 613-821-0866