Friday 25th November 2011 – Ernie Patterson – Harry Ferguson and the Century of Flight


The little engine was not much bigger than those used to power lawnmowers but when Ernie Patterson saw it he knew it was exactly what he had been looking for .Around it he constructed a flying machine of light aluminium tubing and material that was to faithfully replicate a significant page of aviation history .

In August 1910 when Harry Ferguson took off from the Dundrum end of the sandy beach and flew three miles to Newcastle he won a prize of £100 and his place in the story of flight. Just a few short months before he had become the first man in Ireland to build and fly his own aeroplane over the grassy hills beside his home at Growell, near Hillsborough.  In 1980, to celebrate the Ferguson Festival in Newcastle, Ernie Patterson retraced his airborne footsteps at the controls of a home built craft with a thirty foot wing span, weighing just 112 lbs and powered by that tiny little engine. Continue reading