an arrangement with the Napier 30,000 Club, a Curtiss B
was shipped on the SS Monowai from the Walsh Brothers New
Zealand Flying School
at Kohimaramra, Auckland, on the 18th of December 1917.
Walsh Brothers Flying
Walsh & Curtiss B Flying Boat
School HQ at Kohimaramra
arrived in Napier two days later on the 20th of December
The Recreation Hut
After wing and aileron modifications,
prior shipment toNapier.
pilots' quarters - Kohimaramra
Moving the Curtiss to a Gulf Scow
for transfer to the SS Monowai.
reassembly, It went on public display on Napiers
Marine Parade for 1 shilling (10 cents) entrance fee.
Loaded on the Scow, for Auckland,
for loading onto the SS Monowai
for the trip to Napier.
Wrights photo collection, there was a
little photo album
covering the event from the departure from the
Walsh bothers Flying School
at Kohimarama to the demonstration and passenger
flights it made around
the harbour and Napier Town area, until -
accidentally - it was badly damaged, when being
towed to an anchorage.
Unloaded from the SS Monowai at Napier Curtiss B
to shift to Napiers Marine Parade display
The Curtiss was
to Aucklandand underwent
a rebuild - completed In 4 weeks.
Moving the Curtiss
display marquee on the Parade.
On display for a
shilling entrance fee.
the Napier visit, it had an airframe and wing
modification, a new Curtiss OX-5 engine installed
and the letter B allotted to its identification in
their aircraft 'stable'.
The modifications improved the overall performance with a
longer range and a top speed of around 70mph.
Vivian Walsh (on right ) and
unidentified passenger ready for their flight
The passenger flights began on Boxing Day
December 26th 1917
until New Years Day January the first 1918 (until
the accident happened).
passenger comes ashore....
B, with its OX5 engine, was the first Curtiss
flying boat in the Walsh Brothers stable and
known as the "No.1 Bus".
These photos of Arnold
Wrights were taken more than 89 years' ago.
Some were in very poor condition from the process
used in their printing, others fairly good.
One of our very helpful members, Derek Mills, has
spent some time working to enhance them
for presentation on our web site.
An account of this visit by Vivian Walsh and the
Curtiss B to Napier, and the unfortunate
can be found in E. F. Harvies book
"George Bolt Pioneer Aviator"
(a great book covering the life of one of New
Zealands exceptional airmen).
Vivian Walsh and
ready for takeoff
A safe landing for
Up the beach and
back to base.
Not short of locals to help.
Back on the beach
for servicing ?
folk enjoy a
'close relationship' with the Curtiss B.
flying boat approaching.
of the locals....assisting with the salvage of
the Curtiss after the accident ?
on the wharf possibly
salvaged wing fabric etc from the accident.
This photo is a bit of a puzzle as the Curtiss
wings seem to be missing ?
Curtiss in preparation
for its return to Auckland.
Iit was flying again within 2 months.
Uncertain if this
photo shows parts of the
Curtiss arriving in Napier, or of
damaged ones being returned to Auckland.
from the Curtiss between
Dec.28th. 1917 and Jan..1st. 1918
Along with the other two photos in this
collection, they could be the first aerial
photos of Napier...maybe the first
aerials in Hawkes Bay.
Another aerial looking over Ahuriri.
The Curtiss must have been flying
very close to the hillside for this one !
the photo collection covering the Napier visit
was this ship to
shore shot that was very hard to slip into
the story as to a
correct position, linking the coming or going of
the SS Monowai
to Napier, but deserves a showing just for the
man with the bikeall those years ago.!
This very historic
aerial of the Marine Parade about December 1917
or January 1918
is truly a great shot and sad it was
in such poor condition,
as it shows those old Napier icons known as the
( the six two storied buildings lower left )
still there today and looking as good as they did
all those years back. Some of the other buildings
in this photo are still there as well !