Page last updated at 13:15 GMT, Thursday, 23 April 2009 14:15 UK

Replica 1909 plane set for skies

Replica of A V Roe's Triplane
The Triplane made the record books on 23 July 1909

A replica of triplane, one of the first British planes dating back to 1909, is set to take flight.

The delicate three-winged aeroplane has left Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) to be reassembled at Woodvale airport in Formby.

It is due to take part in flight trials at the airport in June.

Volunteers built it to celebrate Manchester's famous aviator, A V Roe, who designed the plane, which last flew 100 years ago.

The Triplane soared into the record books on 23 July 1909 when it managed to fly 900ft (274m) at an average 20ft (6m) off the ground.

Roe's flight in the Triplane was a historic achievement, and what better way to celebrate it than to build a replica and attempt his brave effort again?
Nick Forder, MOSI's transport curator

The plane was designed, built and flown by Salfordian engineer, Alliot Verdon Roe.

Weighing just 319lb (145kg), with a nine horse power engine, it has three pairs of wooden wings, covered in cotton-backed oiled paper, and bicycle wheels for landing.

A museum spokeswoman said: "The team carried out careful research about the materials and techniques which Roe used, to build it as closely as possible to his original design."

Despite this, there are no guarantees that the replica will fly.

"Roe's model itself only just achieved flight, and weather, slight changes in design and luck will all influence the ability for the replica to become airborne," she added.

Nick Forder, transport curator said: "Roe's flight in the Triplane was an historic achievement, and what better way to celebrate it than to build a replica and attempt his brave effort again?"



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