Howard Wright Biplane


Circa 1909, a two-seat pusher biplane with contrarotating propellers, a biplane front elevator and a strange undercarriage consisting of a single central wheel and large stabilising wheels at each lower wingtip.


Leo and Vivian Walsh helped to lay the foundations for both military and civil aviation in New Zealand.
The brothers were determined to build and fly an aeroplane and succeeded in obtaining financial backing from Auckland businessmen A. N. and C. B. Lester and A. J. Powley. They then bought the plans for a British Howard Wright biplane together with materials and an eight-cylinder engine, worth about £750 in total. It took about 5½ months for the brothers to assemble the aircraft at their family home in Remuera. They were helped by fellow enthusiasts, and their sisters Veronica and Doreen, who machine-sewed hundreds of yards of material for the wings.
Walsh Brothers aircraft Manurewa
The finished aircraft, named the Manurewa No 1, bore an inscription 'The Walsh Aeroplane Co. Aeronautical Engineers Constructors Auckland'. Beneath this was a crest and the words 'Aero Club New Zealand'.
Walsh Brothers aircraft Manurewa


Walsh Brother’s Manurewa No 1 made the first undisputed powered flight in New Zealand - flown by Vivian Walsh on Sunday, February 5, 1911, from a grass field at Glenora Park, a total distance of 400 yards at a maximum height of 60 feet (flight data figures differ somewhat depending on the source).
Manurewa No 1


Engine: Metallurgique 4 cyl, 50 hp
Span: 40'
Length: 43'
Weight: 1100 lb
Speed: 35 mph
Price: £1200