Scotland

National museum of Scotland restores historic glider

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Media captionPercy Pilcher's Hawk, Britain's oldest aircraft, is ready to go on public display

The National Museums of Scotland has restored Britain's oldest surviving aircraft to honour the Scottish-based pioneer who built it.

The Hawk, created by Percy Pilcher, will be a key exhibit when new galleries open later this year at the National Museum in Edinburgh.

Percy Pilcher is believed to have been born on 16 January 1866.

His dedication to aviation led to his death in a gliding accident at the age of 32.

Pilcher had been working on a powered aircraft while flying gliders from a farmhouse near Helensburgh.

Image copyright NMS
Image caption Percy Pilcher died in a gliding accident in poor weather when he was 32

His final flight in The Hawk took place when mechanical problems prevented him from testing his powered triplane.

In spite of poor weather conditions, he chose to go up in The Hawk.

Its tail broke off and he crashed to the ground with his creation.

Percy Pilcher died of his injuries two days later.

Image caption Conservator Gemma Thorns has spent well over a year working on the Hawk

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