Scottish museum to display Britain's oldest plane

Britain’s oldest aeroplane is to go on display in Scotland.

National Museum of Scotland.

National Museum of Scotland. Image by subberculture / CC BY-SA 2.0

The bat-like Hawk was built 120 years ago and was piloted by both its creator, Percy Pilcher, and his cousin, Dorothy – making her the first-ever woman to fly a plane. The glider broke the world distance record with a 250m flight in 1898. Pilcher died when the Hawk’s tail snapped off on a subsequent flight, leaving a prototype powered plane he’d been working on unfinished. The first powered flight was eventually made by the Wright Brothers in 1903. The Hawk has been kept in museum storage but is being restored – a 1960s refit had incorrectly fitted the sails on its wings. It will go on show this summer at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

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