Windermere Timeline 1910 – 1919

Windermere Timeline 1910 – 1919

July 1910

The first aeroplane floats with a step in the world were designed and tested by Oscar Gnosspelius, on Gnosspelius No. 1. – Statutory Declaration, 11 January 1913.

25 November 1911

Gnosspelius made the second successful take-off by a hydro-aeroplane outside of France and the USA/ the second-ever successful take-off with a stepped float/ the first successful take-off at Windermere, in Gnosspelius No. 2. – The Westmorland Gazette, 21 December 1911.

25 November 1911

Herbert Stanley Adams made the first successful take-off and landing by a hydro-aeroplane outside of France and the USA/ the first-ever successful take-off and landing with a stepped float/ the first successful take-off and landing at Windermere, in Waterbird. – Kendal Mercury and Times, 1 December 1911.

20 January 1912

Lieutenant Arthur Longmore became the first member of the Royal Navy to successfully take off and land a floatplane/ the first member of the Royal Navy to fly at Windermere/ the only person other than Adams to fly Waterbird, when he test-flew Waterbird for the Admiralty; his arrival having been kept a secret – he became Air Chief Marshal Sir.

14 February 1912

Gnosspelius made the first successful take-off and landing by a hydro-monoplane in Britain/ the first person at Windermere to design and fly a hydro-aeroplane, in Gnosspelius No. 2. – The Westmorland Gazette, 24 February 1912.

29 February 1912

Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, was asked in the House of Commons about hydro-aeroplanes and the Royal Navy. He replied by referring to experiments, including at Windermere, and that the results so far attained had been promising.

16 April 1912

Churchill was asked in the House of Commons about hydro-aeroplanes at Windermere. He answered that tests would continue on the lake.

3 May 1912

The first passenger to fly at Windermere was Wakefield in Waterhen (Waterbird’s successor). – Flight magazine, 11 May 1912. By the end of 1912, more than 100 fare-paying passengers had been carried in over 250 flights.

15 July 1912

Gertrude Bacon became the first woman in the world to be taken out as a passenger in a hydro-aeroplane/ the first passenger in a hydro-aeroplane to make a complete circuit of the lake, in Waterhen. – International Women in Science by C M C Haines.

16 July 1912

Wakefield became the first person in the world to fly as a passenger in a hydro-monoplane, an Admiralty Deperdussin; having been converted at Windermere from a landplane in compliance with an Agreement with Wakefield which was subject to the Official Secrets Act. – Letter to Wakefield from Charles Grey, Editor of The Aeroplane magazine, 17 July 1912.

16 July 1912

Gertrude Bacon became the first woman in the world to fly as a passenger in a hydro-monoplane, the Deperdussin being tested for the Admiralty. – International Women in Science by C M C Haines.

19 July 1912

An Admiralty representative came to Windermere to observe a new method of transmitting wireless messages from air to surface.

9 September 1912

Second Lieutenant John Trotter Royal Field Reserve Artillery, received the first lesson with the Lakes Flying Company, the first British hydro-aeroplane school.

12 September 1912

Wakefield obtained UK Patent No. 27,770 for the means of attaching a float to a hydro-aeroplane.

27 September 1912

Hill of Oaks was inspected by Lord Rayleigh, President of the Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.

12 November 1912

Trotter was granted an Aviator’s Certificate by the Royal Aero Club (‘RAeC’) No. 360 – this image is of the RAeC’s index card. Trotter was the first person/ first member of the Army to achieve a British Certificate with tests taken on a hydro-aeroplane. ‘A letter from Wakefield, of 21 February 1912, with regard to Hydro-aeroplane Certificates was read. At the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (‘FAI’) Conference held in Paris on 15 and 16 March 1912, the suggestion of the RAeC that Aviators’ Certificates should be issued in respect of flights made on hydro-aeroplanes under the existing rules was adopted.’ – Minutes of Executive Committee of the RAeC, 19 March 1912.

18 March 1913

Wakefield obtained UK Patent No. 27,771 for a stepped float for a hydro-aeroplane. After considerable experiment, he had combined features of construction in a novel way. – H Hatfield, Patents Judge.

12 June 1913

The only occasion when a Windermere-based hydro-aeroplane operated outside of the Lake District, save for flights in 1919 to/ from the Isle of Man. Having been transported by traction engine, Waterhen was flown by Adams at Hornsea Mere, near the Yorkshire coast, for Hornsea Horse Show. Passengers, on the first ever flights from the Mere, were taken up at £2 a time. – Hull Daily Mail, 12 June 1913.

25 August 1913

The first flight was carried out with 2 passengers, by Adams in Waterhen.

30 August 1913

The first British Hydro-aeroplane Certificate No. 614 was awarded to Lakes Flying Company pupil James Bland, and on 15 April 1914 the second Certificate No. 765 to Oswald Lancaster. On 28 January 1913, Wakefield had accompanied the RAeC representatives at an Extraordinary Conference of the FAI held in Paris. ‘The FAI decided that ordinary Aviators’ Certificates should not be valid for flights over both land and water. It was further decided that Certificates should be granted in respect of tests over water, but that such Certificates should not be valid for flights over land.’ – Minutes of Executive Committee of the RAeC, 4 February 1913. Also at that Conference, the Schneider Trophy for an annual international seaplane contest was accepted and the rules passed.

13 November 1913

Wakefield obtained UK Patent No.18,051 for a float of a seaplane to support its own weight during flight.

12 February 1914

Gnosspelius obtained UK Patent No.10,801 for a V shaped float. This gave a sharper angle, reduced drag and was advantageous for structural reasons and for aerial considerations. The V shape is used on almost every float manufactured today.

5 February 1915

Flying tuition by moonlight (drawing by Clifford Fleming Williams) was described as a feature unique to the school. – Flight magazine.

21 October 1915

The first flight to land on Esthwaite Water, by John Lankester Parker with pupil John Coats.

18 March 1916

The first flight to land on Coniston Water, by Parker with pupil Henry Reid. – Blackburn Aircraft since 1908 by A J Jackson.

May 1916

The school was taken over by the Government, so that training operations at Cockshott and Hill of Oaks became Royal Naval Air Service Unit Hill of Oaks.

3 June 1916

The headquarters of the RNAS at Windermere moved from Cockshott to Hill of Oaks, and, with the departure of civilian instructors, the name was changed to RNAS Windermere.

9 July 1916

RNAS Windermere was inspected by the First Sea Lord, Sir Henry Jackson.

20 May 1917

Two ex-pupils, Flight Sub-Lieutenants Charles Morrish and Henry Boswell, were the pilots of Curtiss H-12 Large America 8663 flying boat near Flushing in the North Sea when bombs were dropped on a U-boat. ‘This was the first submarine sunk by the Royal Naval Air Service.’ – The Royal Navy Day by Day by L Phillips. Both were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. On 31 August 1917, Adams (then Squadron Commander, later Lieutenant Colonel) was awarded the DSC for services in the Eastern Mediterranean. Flight Commander Guy Price, an instructor at Windermere November-December 1916, was awarded the DSC on 22 February 1918 and Bar on 16 March 1918 [a gap of only 22 days], an ace having downed 12 enemy aircraft. Flight Lieutenant John Hume began his training at Windermere in May 1915 and was posthumously awarded the DSC on 17 May 1918 for services in Mesopotamia.

June 1917

RNAS Windermere closed down.

3 June 1918

The first list of recipients of the Distinguished Flying Cross included not only ex-pupils Captain Harold Gonyon for bombing a U-boat near Dunkirk on 3 April and Captain Victor Bessette for services over the North Sea, but also Captain Cooper Pattinson from Windermere for shooting down a Zeppelin over Heligoland Bight on 10 May. [The Distinguished Flying Cross was instituted after formation of the Royal Air Force as the equivalent to the Distinguished Service Cross for acts of valour at sea – between the level of these awards and the Victoria Cross is the Distinguished Service Order.]

4 August 1919

The first flight carrying newspapers to the Isle of Man, by Howard Pixton. The Daily News was overprinted in red ‘Seaplane Edition’.

8 August 1919

The first fare-paying passenger from or to the Isle of Man, flown by Pixton.