Archive for 11/09/2011

Victoria Brenan –

The first flight of a seaplane in Britain will be celebrated in the Lake District this month, where the original took place.

The maiden flight of Waterbird took place over Windermere on November 25, 1911 and its centenary will be marked with an air display over the lake.

Waterbird was designed by Edward Wakefield, who overcame fierce opposition from Beatrix Potter and Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley, founder of the National Trust, who campaigned against the Lakeland trials of the flying machines.

Wakefield went on to develop a series of aircraft for the Government, encouraged by Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, who was determined to equip the Navy with hydro-aeroplanes.

A ceremony will be held Storrs Hall Hotel on November 25, followed by air display over Windermere by one of Waterbird’s descendants, a 1949 Hawker Sea Fury.

Among the aviation enthusiasts who will be at the lakeside for the centenary event will be several descendants of Edward Wakefield, including his great grandson John Gordon, his great nephew Sir Humphry Wakefield, his great niece The Hon Ruth Adorian, and his great, great nephew Richard Wakefield Raynsford.

Also attending the event will be Elisabeth Luard, the grand daughter of Waterbird’s naval test pilot Arthur Longmore.

Sir Humphry Wakefield said: “This was the golden age for British aviation and we are hoping to capture the magic of those early pioneers.” “Recreating the flight of Britain’s first seaplane will be a fitting tribute to the ingenuity of Edward Wakefield 100 years later.”

The event will help to raise funds towards the £160,000 cost of completing a working replica of the seaplane, which Gerry Cooper, of Cooper Aerial Surveys Engineering Ltd, has started building using the original plan.

Full story…

From Westport News – 

A member of a Christian archaeological expedition that discovered fossilized evidence of what may be Noah’s Ark on a mountain in Iran will give a presentation on Monday evening, Nov. 14, at St. Paul Lutheran Church.

The presentation by Arch Bonnema is planned at 7:30 p.m. at the church, 41 Easton Road. On Tuesday, Nov. 15, Bonnema will discuss his theories on the missing Ark of the Covenant, also at 7:30 p.m. in the church.

Both programs are free and open to the public. A Texas financial-services executive, Bonnema was a member of the Bible Archaeology, Search & Exploration Institution’s 2005 expedition that discovered a boat-shaped mass of rock that resembled petrified wood and fossilized sea creatures near the top of Mount Suleiman in Iran.

The expedition’s leader told National Geographic the discovery was not conclusive proof of the ark’s final resting place, but he said it looks like the object described by ancients.

The story of Noah’s Ark is told in Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

In Westport, Bonnema will discuss why the team chose to look in Iran rather than at a traditional site in Turkey, the perils of getting into and around a nation hostile to the United States, and what scientific laboratories have had to say about the samples smuggled back, the church said.

His presentation will be augmented with slides and video taken on the Iran trip and samples of what the expedition found, the church said.

Full story…

Mohamed Odowa –

Claims that at least six Somali pirates were killed and three others were captured by the crew of the Greek owned MT Liquid Velvet chemical tanker which was hijacked last week, are up for debate due to infighting among pirates, according to several pirates who spoke to Somalia Report.

“Six of our colleagues were killed by the hostages who escaped while the ship was coming to the coastal city of Harardhere in Mudug region.

We will retaliate against our enemy,” said Abdi, a pirate.

Abdi explained that the fighting broke out when the pirates were trying to search the pockets of the crew.

Dahir Aden Shuriye, who claimed to be a relative of one of the dead pirates, confirmed the incident and told Somalia Report that the ship signaled NATO a few minutes after the clash ended.

Mohamed Ahmed, a pirate source, disputes the claims and said no fight broke out and that the pirates were chewing khat, a stimulant herb, when they spoke to Somalia Report, suggesting that the pirates were impaired.

Mohamed Ahmed also said that a number of pirates in the Harardere and Garacad area made up the rumor after Aw-kombe’s group, the pirate group holding the vessel, refused their request to join in the ransom.

“There was no clash on the vessel. My friends were eating khat. It is propaganda.

After the vessel was hijacked our friends first anchored off Murcayo in Bargaal area and finally we moved it to Garacad – the vessel and her crew are now Garacad,” said Mohamed Ahmed.

Ali, a pirate on the vessel and the third officer of Aw-Kombe’s pirate group, confirmed Mohamed’s claim.

Full story…

Jim Eagles –

The greatest hero in the proud history of Winchester, for 400 years the capital of England, could well be a walrus-moustached, pipe-smoking deep-sea diver called William Walker.

That may seem strange because Winchester is many miles from the sea and, over the centuries, it has been home to countless outstanding figures, from Alfred the Great and William the Conqueror to Jane Austen and John Keats.

But Walker has been honoured with a plaque inside the magnificent Winchester Cathedral, a statue outside it – showing a burly, smiling figure in an old-fashion diver’s helmet – and a nearby pub named after him.

Why, you ask ? Go on one of Winchester Tourism’s delightful walking tours of the city and the clues are all around.

For instance, as we strolled down the Weir Walk along the banks of the sparkling River Itchen, our guide, Clare Dixon, explained that the river once flowed about 500m to the west.

The Romans, who transformed the place from an Iron Age fort to a bustling market town, changed its course to create more room for development. But they also created a future problem.

The Romans protected their new town with a massive wall, a small section of which we were able to view through a padlocked metal gate alongside the path.

They also built a stone fort, subsequently incorporated into a Norman castle, which played a central role in battles for the throne, until Oliver Cromwell ordered its demolition in 1649.

Full story…

Maritime Journal – 

Meeting carbon emissions targets requires concerted and unprecedented action from Government, the construction industry and the civil engineering profession.

That was the message from the 147th president of the UK’s Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Richard Coackley, speaking to an audience of over 400 industry leaders, engineers and Government representatives earlier this month.

Infrastructure networks, particularly energy generation and transport, contribute a significant proportion of the UK’s, and the world’s, carbon emissions, he said, adding that adapting infrastructure to support a low carbon society in future would require “the greatest peacetime mobilisation of society in our time.”

Coackley, who is director of energy development, power and energy at URS Scott Wilson, said that the scale of the task ahead could not be underestimated.

“We must reduce carbon emissions while at the same time keeping the lights on and ensuring quality of life.

And we must do this within the context of a changing energy sector and a fast expanding population that will see demand for resources continue to increase.

“Compounding the issue is the urgency with which this must be achieved. A quarter of our electricity generating capacity is coming offline in the next decade and must be replaced by low carbon alternatives, many of which rely on technologies that are still in infancy.

“There are no two ways about it, our future, and the future of the planet, depends on securing access to clean, affordable and reliable sources of power.”

Coackley said the role of civil engineers is critical to succeeding but stressed that Government and industry have equally important roles to play. He called on all three groups to rise to the challenges he set out.

He said, “The challenge to industry is to speak with ‘One Voice’, being united in driving forward the priorities on which there is consensus; harnessing energy, sustainable growth and resilience.

Full story…