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Page last updated at 06:47 GMT, Friday, 16 July 2010 07:47 UK
Replica Boxkites celebrate aviation history with ascent

Ascent celebrates aviation history

One hundred small, replica boxkites will take part in a mass ascent to mark the centenary celebrations of the famous Bristol plane of the same name.

Made and decorated by primary school pupils from Bristol and South Gloucestershire, the kites will be flown on Durdham Downs to celebrated the first public flight of the famous aircraft.

This historic celebration on Saturday, 17 July, forms part of the Year of Flight celebrations, BAC 100, marking 100 years of the Bristol Aeroplane Company.

They have been organised by the Bristol Aero Collection, in conjunction with Bristol International Kite Festival.

Bristol Boxkite from Bristol Museums, Galleries and Archives
This replica Bristol Boxkite has been hanging in Bristol Museum since 1965

The Bristol Boxkite was developed in 1910 at the UK's first commercial airplane factory in Filton, Bristol.

It was the first full production airplane; more than 70 were made and sold worldwide.

The history of airplane manufacture continues in Bristol to this day, incorporating the stories of mass travel, the airbus and the white heat of technology, Concorde.

The Boxkite at Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery is a replica, one of three built from the original drawings by Miles and Co for the 1964 film Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines, where it featured as the Phoenix Flyer.

After filming, 20th Century Fox sold the aircraft to the British Aircraft Corporation at Filton.

The corporation presented the plane to Bristol's City Museum & Art Gallery in 1965 and it has hung in the front hall ever since.

The Bristol International Kite Festival - on 4 and 5 September - will also be celebrating BAC 100, with an historic pageant of kites through the ages focussing on kite development over the past 100 years.


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