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Negative - John Duigan Seated at Controls of his Wright-Type Glider, Mia Mia, Victoria, circa1909 Image Reg. No: MM 057511

One of only two surviving photographs of John Duigan's second glider built and flown at 'Spring Plains', Mia Mia, Victoria. The glider was based on a simplified half-scale version of the Wright Brothers 1906 Model A Flyer, with a wing span of 20 feet (6.1 m). Construction of the glider was commenced in late 1908, with the first flight made by John Duigan tethered to a length on fencing wire on a windy day in March 1909. John later reported that the facing into the wind the glider leapt into the air 'in a series of ups and downs' and 'in a strong blow [it] would lift two people'. It was, however, difficult to control pitching 'up and down far tooo rapidly to be comfortable' and was not stable enough for free flight. Within three months John had begun work on a new aircraft design that would be powered.

This photograph was later published in the British aviation journal 'Flight' on 10 Jan 1911.
Description Of Content:
John Duigan seated in the rigid-wing glider that he built at 'Spring Plains' Station, Mia Mia, in central Victoria, based on the Wright Brothers' biplane. John's hands are gripping the two control levers that operared the front elevators and dual rudders at the rear. The glider is resting on the ground on the creek flat in front of a post and rail fence. At the top of the sloping ground In the backgrond is the entry driveway, lined by an avenue of trees, which led to the homestead where John was living with his brother Reginald at the time.
Discipline: Technology

More information

Tagged with: aviation, aviation pioneers, experimental aircraft, gliders, pilots
Themes this item is part of: Designing & Building the First Australian Aircraft, John Duigan's Military Service, Centenary of Australian Aviation, John Robertson Duigan MC, Pioneering Aviator (1882-1951), Reginald Charles Duigan, Pioneering Aviator & Inventor (1888-1966), Engineering Collection, Transport Collection
Primary Classification: AIR TRANSPORT
Secondary Classification: Unpowered Aircraft
Tertiary Classification: rigid wing gliders
People Depicted: Duigan, John R.
Format: Negative: Black & White
Place & Date Depicted: Mia Mia, Victoria, Australia, circa 1909

Test flights took place near the homestead on the Duigan family property 'Sping Plains', near Mia Mia, central Victoria.
Photographer: Mr Reginald Duigan, circa 1909
Maker of Item Depicted: Mr John Duigan, Mia Mia, Victoria, Australia, 1908-1909
  1. [Book], David Crotty - Museum Victoria Collections, Research & Exhibitions, A Flying Life: John Duigan & the First Australian Aeroplane, Museum Victoria, Melbourne, 2010, p.19 Pages

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