A 1/4-scale replica of the Benoist XIV Flying Boat circa 1914 will debut at the Florida Air Museum at SUN ‘n FUN on Sunday, July 18. The replica comes to being from a partnership between the Florida Air Museum and students from Polk County Public School District’s Central Florida Aerospace Academy and was funded by a Save Our History grant.
The replica has a wingspan of 11′ 4″ and is 7′ in length. The original 36″ wide cockpit (cramped seating for today’s two average men sitting side by side) is 9″ in this model. The plane is constructed primarily out of aspen (poplar) hardwood and plywood. Aspen was chosen for its long clear grain that is resistant to warping. Weight, normally of great concern in any aircraft, was not a consideration in a display model. Attempts were made to accurately follow plans but the team learned that some parts are very difficult to scale. Part of the construction is left uncovered to show the quality woodwork students were able to achieve.
The “Florida’s Flying Boat – the First Airline Passenger Service” exhibit will be on display in the Florida Air Museum from July 18th through September 30th. For more information call 863-644-2431 or email Museum@sun-n-fun.org.