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Richard William Pearse -
The First Man To Fly

The Richard Pearse Memorial in Waitohi featuring a replica of his aircraft
The Richard Pearse Memorial in Waitohi featuring a replica of his aircraft
(Click here for a larger version)

“On or about 31 March 1903 Richard William Pearse of Waitohi New Zealand, became airborne in a high-wing monoplane he designed and built himself. This aircraft, of prophetic design, was powered by an ingenious petrol engine which he also designed and constructured. It was not until 17 December 1903 that the Wright Brothers' Flier I took to the air at the Kill Devil Hills in North Carolina.

Though Pearse himself later conceded that the Americans deserved the honour of being the first to make a controlled and sustained flight, it is almost certain that he got into the air under power before they did.”
Gordon Ogilvie, “The Riddle of Richard Pearse”, Reed Books, Auckland, New Zealand, 1994, p.xiv.


Close up of the replica aircraft
Close up of the replica aircraft
(Click here for a larger version)

Further information about Richard Pearse can be found at:






 
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