Waterbird: Wings over Windermere By Anne Hughes & Ian Gee Aviation Fleet Air Arm

Waterbird: Wings over Windermere By Anne Hughes & Ian Gee

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Early in the morning on 25th November 1911, an Avro Curtiss-type floatplane took off from a hangar at Hill of Oaks, on Windermere, to make history. ‘Waterbird’, commissioned by Edward Wakefield from Kendal, was the first hydro-aeroplane to make a successful flight in Britain.

In 2009 drawings and archive material of Waterbird came to light, and the Lakes Flying Company Ltd. was formed to find a way of recreating a British ‘first’ to celebrate the Edwardian achievement.

They succeeded, and in 2022 the replica Waterbird flew on Windermere along the same stretch of water, this time with photographers and film crews to witness the event.

This book tells the story of two aeroplanes. The first Waterbird, which flew more than 60 flights on Windermere, set in motion the production of seaplanes used in World War 1. The story of the second Waterbird, the replica, is equally fascinating, telling the story of many challenges resulting in a thirteen year programme from dream to reality.

The book is A4-size, 80 pages, with 130 photos.

The book has been shortlisted for the Hunter Davies Lakeland Book of the Year Award under the category of The Latitude Press Prize for Illustration & Presentation.


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