BDAE Events

Waterbird – A Replica of UKs First Successful Sea Plane

Presented by Professor Paul Wrobel
Thursday, 20th April 2023 @ 7.30pm
The Studio, The Forum, Barrow in Furness

BDAE Press Release: Waterbird – A Replica of UKs First Successful Sea Plane

Professor Paul Wrobel will provide insight to the fascinating tale of the original plane, the construction of the replica by The Lakes Flying Company and the subsequent flight on Windermere in Sep 2022, 111 years after the maiden flight. Ample opportunity will be available to answer questions on the challenges of getting a plane into the air in 2022 when it was designed in 1911 and made from wire, sticks and canvas!

The technology breakthrough to get planes airborne from the water in 1911, was the introduction of the stepped hydrofoil after much experimentation. Waterbird was 1st plane in the world to use such a device. Similar foils were all used by the subsequent water speed records on the lakes, including those of Henry Seagrave and Malcolm Campbell.

Martin Bates of BDAE said “It was real surprise to learn of the local development story of this plane and the subsequent establishment of the first British seaplane school at Windermere, the pre-cursor to the Royal Naval Air Station for training pilots 1916-17. It will be a pleasure to learn more of the history and the replica project.”

Professor Paul Wrobel is Emeritus Professor University College London and is a Naval Architect living locally. The crossover of the engineering in the project and his interest in Windermere piqued his interest and will talk to us enthusiastically.

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