This is the world's oldest flying British aeroplane, and the world's oldest flying British aero-engine. Built by Robert Blackburn, who was by then an established aeroplane manufacturer, the Blackburn Type D Monoplane was built in October 1912 for Cyril Foggin and was fitted with a 50hp Gnome rotary engine, first flying in December 1912. Despite Foggin receiving the aircraft in March 1913 following Blackburn's pilot Harold Blackburn using it for demonstration flights before then, it was still used by Blackburn for demonstrations through Foggin's ownership, for example between the 23rd and 25th July 1913 it was used to fly copies of the Yorkshire Post newspaper from Leeds to York.
It was later sold to Montague Francis Glew but crashed it at Wittering, Lincolnshire in 1914, and was not flown again. It was abandoned with the outbreak of the First World War and found in 1937 by Richard Shuttleworth hidden under a haystack - he had to buy the haystack to acquire the aircraft. Restoration was started in 1940 but the death of Shuttleworth in the Second World War meant it was not completed until 1949, by his chief engineer. It is kept airworthy and still flies at Shuttleworth Collection when the weather is suitable enough for such a unique, historically important aircraft. Visit the blog in two days time to see photos of the aircraft airborne