BUCHAN'S FARM: Temporary aerodrome (Aka CORSTORPHINE)
Operated by: Robert B Slack
Location: About 4nm W of Edinburgh city centre
Period of operation: 22nd to 26th July 1912
A MICHAEL T HOLDER GALLERY
We have Mike Holder, a great friend of this 'Guide', to thank for investigating this little known venue and providing the following items.
The Notice was published in the Edinburgh Evening News on the 18th July 1912.
Article One was published in the Dalkeith Advertiser on the 25th July 1912. Article Two was also published on the 25th July, but this time in the The Scotsman.
Article Three was published in the The Scotsman on the 27th July 1912. The local area view is from my Google Earth © derived database.
NOTES: Robert Bertram Slack obtained his Royal Aero Club pilots certificate on the 14th November 1911. We need to bear in mind that in those days the degree of flying skills required to give "a public exhibition of flying", (as displays were mostly called), were fairly limited and just being able to perform a couple of circuits was quite enough to attract large crowds - many if not most of whom had never seen an aeroplane actually flying!
Those machines, as aeroplanes were called, were very basic indeed, and the Blériot monoplane Robert Slack was flying was very much 'state of the art'. I find it fascinating to discover just how quickly those early aviators were making advances, mostly small advances of course by and large, but hugely important.
Just as an aside, simply attempting to record the flying sites in the UK is really quite a task. The early history of powered aviation is also still very much a 'work in progress'. Indeed, it has been claimed for many years that the first ever loop performed was at the Blériot school, Pau, in central France, by Adolph Pégoud on the 21st September 1913. It now appears that the Russian pilot, Pyotr Nikolayevich Nesterov, had performed a loop twelve days earlier.
We will never know how far Robert Slack might have progressed his flying career. Sadly he died in a motoring accident on the 21st December 1913, aged just 28.
AND, LAST BUT NOT LEAST
Later Mike Holder discovered this group picture, taken alongside Robert Slack's Blériot, and including him, which was published in The Aeroplane on the 1st August 1912.
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