Duluth, Minn. (July 25, 2014) The Duluth Aviation Institute announced today their replica of the world’s first “commercial” airplane, The Lark of Duluth, will be featured at EAA AirVenture 2014 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. From July 28th through August 3rd, over 500,000 visitors will witness history as it was when commercial aviation began in 1914. The Lark of Duluth Benoist Type XIV Flying Boat will be featured in front of the Vintage Red Barn the entire week.
Duluth Aviation Institute’s Board of Trustees President, Sandra Ettestad, stated, “2014 marks the 100 year anniversary of commercial aviation. It is fitting that exactly one hundred years later the replica of the world’s first commercial airplane, The Lark of Duluth, will remind us of how primitive aircraft of that era were and yet how profound the vision of aviation pioneers was to set a course for the future.” 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 original “Lark” made the historic first commercial flight with one paying passenger, across Tampa Bay, from St. Petersburg to Tampa, FL, on January 1, 1914.