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Jan 13, 2013, 05:41 PM
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Here is a note today from Professor Bird

Dear Pat,

Thank you for your very significant contribution to the Pan-Pacific Build and Fly with Friends project with your on-site photography technical advice and very prompt posting and updating of progress reports on the builds and flights.

With the succesful completion of the maiden flight of the Southern Cross models by John Hunton it is timely to remind readers.
That this is a 'tribute' to the two US crew members Warner and Lyon, the radio operator and navigator who played such a key role in this historic firstly crossing of the Pacific.

Regrettably, the significance of Warner and Lyon in the history of aviation has been overshadowed by the high profile given to the two Australian's Sir Charles Kingsford Smith and Ulm.
If anyone knowns the wherabouts of the descenandants of Warner and Lyon, we would be pleased it your would alert them to this "Tribute".

Thanks John Bird
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Feb 23, 2013, 11:55 AM
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More info here:
Feb 24, 2013, 01:21 AM
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Also I found this tonight in the San Francisco Air Museum Library
Apr 05, 2013, 09:39 AM
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Yesterday, John Hunton sent me photos of the bones of his 52 inch span Westland Widgeon which will be electric powered.

It will be done up as the Kookaburra--the Widgeon that was lost in the Australian dessert while searching for the Southern Cross. I think John drew the plans up himself. He does beautiful work!
May 23, 2013, 05:25 AM
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Pan-Pacific "Build and Fly with Friends" -Keil Kraft 'Senator'

Stage 1: Conversion of Free Flight to electric RC.
Same size and construction as for the orginal.

(a) Modifaction of nose block to encase geared brushed motor and retain large dia slow-fly prop, to create the illusion of rubber powered free flight design.
Last edited by Flightfeathers; May 23, 2013 at 06:57 PM.
Jun 17, 2013, 12:28 PM
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I am quite sorry to have to report that Professor John Bird passed away on the morning of June 13, 2013. John was quite a guy and knew his history. Here are some comments from his son Greg.

John died peacefully in the early hours of this morning, in the company of Julie and myself. We are greatly relieved that his pain has now ended.

John was surrounded by 3 generations of family throughout the day. He was peaceful and at at ease, and roused only once.

In a heartbreakingly tender moment he opened his eyes, reached out for Julie and held her in a deep embrace that embodied the 50 years of their love.

John was a gifted storyteller, so it seems only fitting that I reserve the final words for John.

In his last days, the line between wakefulness and dreaming was increasingly blurred, and John would often speak aloud his dreams. This is a dream that he shared with Julie.

"Brolga sweeps over the lake, followed by a flock of smaller birds.
Brolga splashes down.
End of day."

I didn't know what Brolga meant until I looked it up. Try it--your will be surprised.

Pat Daily
Richmond, VA

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