This morning I had an email from Nick Harrison with an update and images of his Oakington Monoplane project. I had met with Harrison, managing director of product design consultancy Round Peg, earlier this year about an ambitious project he had embarked on – to recreate a legendary aircraft that had been built by local Oakington residents Alfred Grose and Neville Feary in 1909. Since 1998 when Harrison found a copy of a handwritten document, which gave details of the monoplane that had been built in a barn in this small Cambridgeshire village, he has become hooked. Despite having a busy consultancy to run, every spare minute has been dedicated to attempting to research and then build a replica of this monoplane.
In the process of replicating the plane, Harrison and his small team have used SolidWorks – mostly by bringing original photographs into a SolidWorks sketch. From there they sent the finished drawings to a CNC routing company who machined the ribs. (Anyway, for all the ins and outs read the article that Greg Corke and I wrote for Develop3D’s April issue).
Since I wrote the article, Harrison has been working on the plane’s undercarriage and has also managed to get it up on its wheels. This was all done in the nick of time for the recent Oakington Village Day 2010. “We got it up on its wheels for the first time half an hour before our village day opened. It turned a few heads as we pushed it along the road,” says Harrison.
To follow its progress as well discover the rich history of this monoplane and the original ‘flying men’ who built it, visit the Oakington Plane’s dedicated website.