Newsletter Issue 2 – June 2014

Blackburn Flyers Newsletter

Issue 2 – June 2014

The original idea was to build a flying version of 1909 Monoplane using the new technology and material to make it airworthy.

To get the project moving, a number of staff who showed interest to join the project gathered in Red Hawk on 6th June 2014 to discuss the proposal.

The idea was discussed in great details and the consensus were that there has been enough work done on 1909 Monoplane and we need to concentrate on Brough Heritage and not necessarily Blackburn monoplane as it was built in Leeds.

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Brough was bought by Bob Blackburn in 1905 and was operational in 1906.  This meant that 2016 is the 100th anniversary of the Site so a better idea would be to find the first Blackburn plane that first flew from Brough during 1916 and replicate a flying version of that model.

The research into the history of Brough lead the team to Blackburn’s reasoning for purchasing the site which was to experiment with seaplanes on the river and also realisation that the first flight from Brough site was a seaplane.

Richard looked into the historic data and found the following article which described the first plane that few from Brough.

Apparently on a very cold November day in 1916, Blackburn Seaplane Tail number 1416 was guided out of ‘A Shed’, down the slipway and into the Humber.  AJ Jackson’s book “Blackburn Aircraft since 1909” describes the day, ‘Launching was simple and the first flight successful, but the strong tide made recovery difficult, and the wading team led by Robert Blackburn’s brother-in-law, R. R. Rhodes, were literally frozen stiff and had to be carried in on planks and thawed out in front of fires lighted in the hangar’.

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Time and cost are against building a full scale replica of ‘1416’ to mark the centenary but if enough support comes forward it is proposed to build a (very) large scale model.  The final scale depends on the level of support  but ¼ scale or even 1/3 scale may be possible within current regulations. With a wing span of approximately 5.5m (18’) this would be an imposing sight, especially if it were arranged to fly from the river.