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An unidentified female announcer interviews George Bolt, chief engineer of Tasman Empire Airways Limited (TEAL). He talks about his interest in early aviation after seeing the first balloons in New Zealand in about 1906. He then started making models of early aeroplanes and then first flew in a glider he built in Christchurch in 1911.
Then in 1915 he made his first powered flight. He says he may have taken the first aerial photographs in New Zealand when flying with the Walsh brothers in Auckland. He recalls the Walsh Brothers' flying school which began in Mission Bay. He says the Walshes first flew in 1910 after importing parts from England for a Farnham-type aeroplane. They did some flights at Manurewa but wrecked the plane.
They then came to Orakei and built a flying boat and started the flying school in 1915. He says it was not common to import planes and most local flights were in locally built craft. He assisted in building five aeroplanes at Walsh's.
After the war, the Walshes imported two Boeings, two of the first the company ever built and they used one for the first official air mail flight in New Zealand to Dargaville in 1919. He describes the early days of airmail flights and taking passengers for joy-rides after the war. He also flew Bishop Cleary around his diocese.
He discusses Richard Pearse and the possibility he may have flown in 1903 before the Wright Brothers. He has Pearse's aeroplane in storage which he acquired following his death. He has met many old people who remembered Pearse's flight and has talked to eye-witnesses.
[Recorded in the 1960's.]
Reference number 149338
Media type AUDIO
Collection Sound Collection
Nonfiction radio programs
New Zealand Broadcasting Service (estab. 1946, closed 1962), Broadcaster
Bolt, George Bruce, 1893-1963, Speaker/Kaikōrero