Published on March 27th, 2019 | by Mark Dwyer


The Portlaoise Plane

In 1908 in Maryborough/Portlaoise, Ireland, Frank & Louis Aldritt, William Rogers and John Conroy commenced work on a Bleriot-style Flying Machine – the First Plane to be built and flown in what became the Republic of Ireland. This plane, safely stored throughout the turbulent years of the 1900s, including two World Wars, the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War, eventually disappeared and was lost to the town for over 40 years until Joe Rogers, in tribute to his father, William, one of the original craftsmen, began his search to locate the record-breaking machine.

Teddy Fennelly and Alan Phelan will be giving a talk on the Portlaoise Plane (Aldritts’ Monoplane) at the Midlands park Hotel on Thursday, March 28 at 8pm. Take a look at the video below for a brief history of the Portlaoise Plane.

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About the Author

Mark is an airline pilot flying the Boeing 737 for a major European airline. In addition he is also a Type Rating Instructor, Type Rating Examiner and Base Training Captain on the B737. Outside of commercial flying Mark enjoys flying light aircraft from the smallest 3 Axis microlights up to heavier singles. He is also an instructor and EASA Examiner on single engines and a UK CAA Examiner. He flies the Chipmunk for the Irish Historic Flight Foundation (IHFF). Mark became the Chairman of the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) in 2013 and has overseen a massive growth in the organisation. In this role he has worked at local and national levels. In 2015, Mark won ‘Upcoming Aviation Professional Award’ at the Aviation Industry Awards sponsored by the IAA. Mark launched this website back in 2002 while always managing the website, he has also been Editor and Deputy Editor of FlyingInIreland Magazine from 2005 to 2015.

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