Wed, Mar 12, 2003
A replica of Clyde Cessna's first airplane, Silverwing,
was hung at Exploration Place, located in Wichita (KS), this
week. Silverwing will be on display for eighteen
months, and is part of the "Centennial of Powered Flight" project
at Exploration Place.
This project is to commemorate the 100th anniversary of flight
and the continuing evolution of aviation.
Silverwing was built and flown by Cessna in 1911.
Although the actual aircraft no longer exists, several replicas
have been built. The replica hanging at Exploration Place, which
was built by Cessna team members in the 1960s, is approximately 26
feet long, with a 26-foot wingspan. It features the popular Gnome
engine (rather than the lighter, less-powerful Anzani that was also
used on similar machines).
"Because of Clyde's passion for aviation and his
entrepreneurial spirit in providing a new means of transportation,
the Cessna Aircraft Company was founded in 1927. We are proud of
our strong aviation heritage in Wichita and are delighted that the
replica of Silverwing has been chosen for display at
Exploration Place in honor of the 100th anniversary of flight,"
said Charlie Johnson, Cessna's President.
Silverwing, actually a then-popular Blériot
design, made famous in the Frenchman's huge accomplishment (the
first heavier-than-air aerial crossing of the English Channel in
1909) was a breakthrough in pre-WWI aviation technology.
Surprisingly modern in planform and basic characteristics, its
pioneering design is quite evident, even in today's GA
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