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New Zealand Aviation History

Richard William Pears
Richard William Pearse spent much of his lifetime building light, powerful aero-engines and constructing aircraft for his numerous attempts at powered flight.  His most spectacular flights were those made after the turn of the century using a horizontally opposed, twin-cylinder engine fitted  

At the turn of the century, many far sighted men in different parts of the world were trying to achieve powered flight, not the least of these efforts were being made in New Zealand.  Several successful gliders had been

Richard Pearse constructed several internal combustion engines: three of these are still in existence, the earliest one probably being the most interesting.  It is also suggested that he built one multi-cylinderi- engine for farm use, but no trace

Wild and inaccurate statements have been publicised from time to time concerning Richard Pearse's achievements in the field of aviation.  However. no responsible researcher has ever claimed that he achieved fully controlled flight before the Wright brothers, or indeed at any time.  To attain fully controlled flight a pilot would have to be able to get his plane into the air, fly it on a chosen course and land it at a predetermined destination.  Obviously Pearse's short "hops" or "flights",

The next appearance on the aviation scene, was one of the most notable in our aviation history.  In 1910, two Auckland brothers, Leo and Vivian Walsh, backed by an enthusiastic syndicate, imported a Howard Wright Farman biplane in kitset form.  For the considerable sum of $1530,




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