Incident Barnwell Biplane Unregistered,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 72188
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Date:Friday 10 September 1909
Type:Barnwell Biplane
Owner/operator:Harold Barnwell
Registration: Unregistered
MSN: 1
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Causewayhead, Stirling, Scotland -   United Kingdom
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Causewayhead, Stirling, Scotland
Destination airport:Causewayhead, Stirling, Scotland
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
Harold and Frank Barnwell, made Scotland's first powered flight. The brothers reached an altitude of 13ft when they travelled 80 metres over a field in the shadow of the Wallace Monument in 1909.

The Barnwell brothers' first experiments included gliders fitted with motorbike engines which they built in their garage in Causewayhead, Stirling. They ran the Grampian Motor and Engineering Company to fund their pioneering aviation work.

In July 1909 their biplane, powered by a car engine and piloted by Harold Barnwell (1878-1917), made the Scotland's first powered aircraft flight

When the engine was started, the aeroplane, like a huge white-winged bird, rushed forward and with a rapid sweep rose into the air. The nose was pointed at a very high angle and after travelling about 80 yards the machine suddenly dipped and came rushing to the ground. Harold Barnwell succeeded in flying for eighty yards on 8 July 1909, but the machine was damaged on landing.

Although the aeroplane was badly damaged, Mr Barnwell escaped with a few slight cuts and bruises and was highly delighted with the results. The aeroplane was repaired. Believed to be Scotland's first aircraft.

After repairs and with the wingspan reduced to 45 feet further trials were carried out on 8 September 1909 using a starting rail. A height of 25 feet was reached before the machine was damaged beyond repair on 10 September 1909.


1. The Flying Scots, a century of aviation in Scotland.
Jack Webster
The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. 1994
ISBN 0 9522174 2 2

Revision history:

01-Feb-2010 12:21 John Baker Added
01-Feb-2010 22:19 John Baker Updated [Source, Narrative]
27-Feb-2013 14:11 Dr. John Smith Updated [Date, Operator, Source, Narrative]
19-Nov-2018 19:46 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Registration, Cn, Source, Narrative]

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