Vivian Walsh (aviator)

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Vivian Claude Walsh (1888–1950) was an English-born[1] New Zealand engineer. Vivian and his elder brother Leo Austin Walsh (1881–1951) were pioneers of New Zealand aviation.[2][3]

Vivian and Leo built a British Howard Wright biplane, which Vivian first flew on 5 February 1911. This was the first recognised powered flight made in New Zealand.[4]

They established the New Zealand Flying School in 1915 to train pilots for the Royal Flying Corps, building their own series of flying boat trainers.

Walsh Brothers type D flying boat of 1918

He made pioneering airmail, air passenger,[5] and air survey flights, but was unable to make these commercially viable,[6] and in 1924 he sold the New Zealand Flying School assets to the New Zealand Government, and gave up all involvement in aviation.[1]

Vivian died in 1950, and Leo in 1951. The Auckland Branch of the Royal Aeronautical Society, concerned to preserve the memory of the brothers' contribution, formed the Walsh Memorial Air Pageant Organisation. Several events raised significant monies for educational purposes - now administered via the New Zealand Aeronautical Trusts Ltd.[7]

Other memorials include:

See also[edit]