1909 – County Down born engineer and inventor Harry Ferguson makes the first flight in Ireland.

In Hillsborough, Co Down. Harry Ferguson’s plane made out of spruce wood and linen made the first flight in Ireland.

At HarryFergusonLegacy.com, his first flight is reported as follows: “Harry had designed a monoplane which was fitted with a V8 35hp JAP engine, construction of which was completed later that month. The day of the first flight attempt arrived and, with wings detached and the tail resting in the back of a car, the aircraft was towed through the streets of Belfast to Hillsborough Great Park. This first attempt failed, due in part to propeller trouble then, after it was replaced, because of unsuitable weather conditions. Over succeeding weeks, he tried again, his first successful flight of 130 yards in length being made on December 31st, 1909. “

The Belfast Telegraph reported on Ferguson’s flight: “The roar of the eight cylinders was like the sound of a Gatling gun in action. The machine was set against the wind, and all force being developed the splendid pull of the new propeller swept the big aeroplane along as Mr Ferguson advanced the lever. Presently, at the movement of the pedal, the aeroplane rose into the air at a height from nine to twelve feet, amidst the heavy cheers of the onlookers. The poise of the machine was perfect and Mr. Ferguson made a splendid flight of 130 yards.”



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