Lark of Duluth - Replica of World's First “Airline,” Certified Airworthy

Duluth, Minn. (June 27, 2013) The Duluth Aviation Institute announced today their replica of the world’s first “commercial” airplane, The Lark of Duluth, officially received the Federal Aviation Administrations (FAA) Aircraft Airworthiness Certificate, clearing the Institute’s locally built aircraft for flight.

Duluth Aviation Institute’s Board of Trustees President, Sandra Ettestad, stated, “January 1, 2014 marks the 100 year anniversary of commercial aviation. It is fitting that exactly one hundred years to the day the world’s first commercial airplane, The Lark of Duluth, flew for the first time in Duluth, the replica receives its Airworthiness Certificate.” The Duluth Aviation Institute’s Lark of Duluth was five and a half years in the making, under the leadership of Duluth’s aviation craftsman, Mark Marino, with volunteer labor contributions from fellow Institute trustees and local Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) members.

The original Lark of Duluth was owned by two visionary Duluthians, Julius Barnes and W. D. Jones who foresaw the advantages aviation could offer to the evolution of society and economic development. The first “Lark” made the historic first commercial flight with one paying passenger, across Tampa Bay, from St. Petersburg to Tampa, FL, on January 1, 1914.

The Lark of Duluth replica will be featured at the Lark O’ the Lake Festival on July 12-14, 2013 and at EAA’s AirVenture, Oshkosh, WI. The Lark O’ the Lake Festival will be located on the grounds of Sky Harbor Airport-Duluth. The event is a historic festival where citizens and visitors can learn more about the Duluth Aviation Institute, celebrate our Duluth middle school math and science scholars, and have fun re-living the era of 1913.

About The Duluth Aviation Institute

The Duluth Aviation Institute’s vision is a community inspired and enriched by the art and science of aviation. Preserving our local aviation history, the Institute is building a replica of the world’s first airliner, The Lark of Duluth, originally owned by Duluthians Julius Barnes and W. D. Jones. Celebrating our city’s aviation centennial, the Institute is enhancing the Duluth School District science curriculum with Duluth’s legacy of inventors and entrepreneurs. The Path to Aviation program has been presented to 1500 sixth grade students in Duluth.