Aviation enthusiasts, delving back into flight history, commemorated the inaugural flight of the world's first seaplane - on January 26, 1911 - with a similar display; this time by a modern replica of that primitive aerial pioneer.
GVs Replica of first seaplane being started and tested. Crowds look on. (4 SHOTS)
GVs Plane takes off and lands on water. (3 SHOTS)
SCU Onlookers reacting to the flight. (2 SHOTS)
CU Pilot James Dolby speaking to reporters. (SOT) (2 SHOTS)
SV PAN FROM Dolby TO man who designed the first seaplane Hank Wheeler.
CU Hank Wheeler speaking to reporter (overlay shot of plane in flight). (SOT) (2 SHOTS)
DOLBY: (SEQ 4) "It was a great pleasure for me to have been able to do this, and it's a real thrill, I'll tell you that."
WHEELER: (SEQ 6) "I tell you, it's hard to believe. You know, there were times when I was building, I thought the thing would never fly, but it flies pretty nice. I'm very, very proud of it."
NOTE TO EDITORS: THIS STORY HAS COMMENTARY BY NBC REPORTER JOHN BRITTEN, WHICH MAY BE USED IF REQUIRED.
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Background: Aviation enthusiasts, delving back into flight history, commemorated the inaugural flight of the world's first seaplane - on January 26, 1911 - with a similar display; this time by a modern replica of that primitive aerial pioneer. On January 26, exactly 73 years later, the replica of Glyn Curtis's aircraft took off to re-live the flight over San Diego Bay - only on this occasion, the event made great television viewing as well as newspaper headlines. Pilot James Dolby, after landing his cumbersome craft, said that he managed to reach a top speed of 55 knots per hour - about the same as his predecessor in 1911. The replica's designer, Hank Wheeler, took three years to build the seaplane in his garage, in spite of occasional doubts that his aircraft wouldn't get off the ground. But in the end - and in spite of a longer-than-planned runway taxi - pilot Dobly got the plane into the air for the commemorative flight.