Denys Corbett Wilson created a first in aviation history on April 22 in 1912 when he flew from Pembroke to Crane near Enniscorthy in County Wexford and was the first pilot to complete the channel crossing flight.
He will be honoured in Enniscorthy during a commemorative celebration of this pioneering Irish aviator on Sunday, April 22, one hundred years on from the first complete flight between Britain and Ireland.
The record flight commenced in Pembroke at 5.47am on the morning of April 22 in 1912 as Corbett Wilson took to the western skies and headed for Ireland; after 100 minutes the last 30 of which were in very heavy rain, Corbett Wilson spotted a field he thought suitable for landing, it proved to be just too short for his Bleriot X1 and it ended up on a hedge with a broken propeller.
Lieutenant Denys Corbett Wilson serving in the third squadron of the Royal Flying Corps was tragically killed in action two years later on May 10, 1915.
The centenary event will honour the history-making aviator in Enniscorthy as a five foot radio controlled replica Bleriot X1 aircraft will be set off from the Pembroke airfield and head for the Enniscorthy site where the very first flight landed 100 years ago to the very day.
Centenary events will be celebrated both in County Wexford and in Wales.
In Wexford a host of celebratory events are planned from Monday April 16 when the life and times of Corbett Wilson will be told by Historian Pat Nolan at Enniscorthy Castle followed by the opening of an exhibition on his life which will remain open until the end of May, 2012.
For the weekend of April 21 and 22 a series of aviation events are planned including a model aircraft display on the ground and skies over Wexford will also be busy as fly-overs and fly-pasts will be common and the organisers, the Corbett Wilson Centenary Commemoration Committee, will set their flagship event at The Showgrounds on Sunday afternoon in Enniscorthy. A ‘Celebration of Flight’ highlights include Aer Lingus, who will showcase the replica ‘Iolar’, a recreation of the first passenger aircraft used between Dublin and Bristol in 1936; the Air Corps are using their marine patrol aircraft for a fly-over, and a 1930’s training aircraft for pilots, a Tiger Moth, will also be sharing the busy airspace above the town and county.
All events are free to the public and further details can be found on www.visitwexford.ie