Waterbird Technical


The original had a 7-cylinder 50hp Gnome rotary engine: the replica has a new 7-cylinder 110hp Rotec radial engine.

The replica’s propeller is bespoke, created by computer-controlled machinery.

On the original, the outer ailerons were pulled down by the control stick into the airflow: on the replica, there is a closed circuit – each moves in the opposite direction to the other.

The replica has been the subject of a design analysis to calculate the best angle to set the horizontal tail.

The original’s wing spars were made of spruce: on the replica, they are made of Douglas fir, which is stronger.

Copper nails and ruffs were used on the original’s spar webs: on the replica, they are screwed and glued.

The replica has the benefit of modern dope and fabric sewn in place, in contrast to the use of tacks on the original.

For the airframe, the replica has:-

modern glues, with glue applied where it was not originally used;

certified bracing wires;

certified turnbuckles, and

load-testing of specimens of the bamboo used.

The replica’s main float was built with state-of-the-art techniques, creating  increased integrity and buoyancy.

Computer modelling has enabled gathering of data and verification of the overall replica aeroplane’s design.