Thursday 5 January 2012

Britain's first seaplane to fly again as enthusiasts make replica of Waterbird

Images courtesy of
Britain's first seaplane to fly again as enthusiasts make replica of Waterbird

I have "Richard Hannay" of the excellent blog Electric Edwardians to thank for making me aware of this fantastic article.  His site is a wonderful resource of pictures and information about the buildings, machines and related occurrences during the 1910s.

One hundred years ago, less than a decade after the Wright Brothers' first flight at Kitty Hawk, British aviation pioneers A. V. Roe (later to become Avro, creator of the Lancaster and Vulcan bombers amongst others) became the first company in the United Kingdom to successfully build and fly a seaplane - the A. V. Roe Curtiss-type "Waterbird".

Now I'm very pleased to see that local aviation enthusiasts have not only marked the centenary of the first flight at Lake Windermere on the 25th November 1911, but also intend to build a replica of the Waterbird and actually fly it!  To see such an important landmark in British aviation remembered in this fashion is splendid and everyone involved is to be congratulated - I hope the necessary funds to finish the aircraft are forthcoming.  It is indeed a good thing that this early trailblazing flight is not forgotten and is appreciated by a new generation and what better way to ensure that than with a working, flying example of the machine.  It would be a wonderful sight to see the Waterbird take to the skies - and the water - again, a century after its first foray across Windermere.  Best of luck, chaps!

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