Latvian enthusiasts unveil replica 1910 plane

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Latvian enthusiasts on Saturday unveiled a replica of a 1910 Farman 4 aircraft that they built from original, century-old plans.

Guntars Senkans, who led a team of vintage plane fans, said they had spent 15 years scouring archives in Latvia and neighbouring Russia for plans of the plane, which was designed by French aviator and aircraft designer Henri Farman.

They then spent three years building the 560-kilo (1,234-pound) plane, which has an original 1912 US-made Curtis motor.

"Perhaps we could revive the tradition of restoring and building planes like this," Senkans told AFP before the unveiling ceremony at an airfield in Adazi, a town 24 kilometres (15 miles) from the Latvian capital Riga.

With a maximum speed of 74 kilometres per hour (46 miles per hour), the Farman 4 was the fastest plane of its era.

Originally produced in France, it rapidly gained hold elsewhere, including Tsarist Russia, which ruled Latvia at the time.

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