Incident Wilford (Wright) Flyer Unregistered, Monday 25 October 1909
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Date:Monday 25 October 1909
Type:Wilford (Wright) Flyer
Owner/operator:Paul Wilford
Registration: Unregistered
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Minor
Location:Wilrijkse Pleinen, Antwerpen -   Belgium
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Wilrijkse Pleinen
Destination airport:Wilrijkse Pleinen
The Aviation Week of Antwerp (Vliegweek van Antwerpen/Semaine d'Aviation d'Anvers) was held from October 23rd to November 2nd 1909. While not the first time that an aircraft had flown in Belgium, it was the first time an event was held in Belgium where multiple aircraft and pilots would hold public flying demonstration to the larger public.

Thirteen early aviators agreed to participate in the event. Among them was Paul Wilford, who together with his brothers Maurice and Auguste ran a car manufacturing plant in Temse, and who also had started an involvement in aviation. Based on the designs of the Wright Brothers, Paul Wilford had constructed a Wright pattern biplane with minor improvements, powered by a Vivinus engine.

The timing of the event was unfortunate - the aviation week took place in the last week of October, and was marked by generally poor weather, with gusts and rain making flying impossible at times.

Weather had improved by the third day of the event, and Paul Wilford made an attempt at flying his Wright biplane, but during the catapult start Wilford lost control of his aircraft, resulting in a hard touch-down and damage to one of his propellers and wing.

The damage to the aircraft was repaired by November 2nd, when Wilford made a renewed but unsuccessful attempt to take off at the aviation event, luckily this time without any further damage to his aircraft.


Bredasche Courant, 27 October 1909
75 jaar luchtvaart Antwerpen, J.D. Ghoos, Uitgeverij De Vlijt, 1984


Revision history:

26-Nov-2023 08:16 Anon Added

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