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Letter of support from Air Marshall Sir Richard Bolt (ret.), son of George Bolt.

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George Bolt: Pioneer Aviator ~ Foundations of a Future

E F Harvie ~ A H & A W  Reed, 1974 ISBN 0 589 00823 4

Subjects: Bolt, George Bruce, - 1893-1963 | Aeronautics - New Zealand - History.

Following on from E. F. Harvie’s seminal work on ‘George Bolt, Pioneer Aviator’ and the beginnings of New Zealand Civil & Military Aviation, The Hijack of Boeing One documents the exploits of George Bolt and Bluebill, the first aircraft designed and built by Bill Boeing (before he went on to found arguably the world’s greatest aerospace manufacturer).

The Hijack of Boeing One traces the history of Bluebill:-  brought from Seattle to the Walsh Brothers Flying School in Auckland in 1918 where it set milestones with George Bolt at the controls. The heyday and the  ignominious demise of the Flying School are traced; the curious circumstances that enveloped the disposal of the School’s aircraft in 1924, including the disappearance of the two Boeing & Westervelts, Bluebill and Mallard.

 

And, how, when 34 years later, a postal historian asked George Bolt if he could find his old aeroplane as part of the 50th anniversary of the first NZ Airmail (flown by Bolt in Bluebill ~ 1919), a mystery began that deepened as it spanned another four decades before ending at the Auckland High Court in a trial that rivaled the ignominy of the Flying School’s demise...

Commercial Aviation began in New Zealand when Vivian Walsh and his brother Leo  built their own flying boat and took to the air from the waters of Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour on 1 January 1915. The following year the Walsh brothers employed as an apprentice aero-mechanic a boy from Dunedin named George Bolt. Bolt was destined to become a brilliant aircraft engineer and the Chief Pilot  of the New Zealand Flying School. E F Harvie’s book is the story of George Bolt's pioneer days, from his first experiments with hot-air balloons and elastic-powered model aeroplanes, to his successful full-scale glider trials before WWI, and through to September 1924 when the Government took over the Walshes' enterprise and New Zealand's fledgling civil aviation went into the doldrums.  Bolt’s career reached its peak when, in 1944, he was appointed Chief Engineer to TEAL, the airline that became  Air New Zealand. George Bolt was a superb pilot and a brilliant engineer. Above all, he was a great gentleman; drily humorous and of a splendid natural dignity and authority. This book is worthy of the man.

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