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Lark Replicas Stay Grounded

Lark Replicas Stay Grounded

Mark Marino of Duluth, Minn., and Kermit Weeks of Miami, Fla., can both attest that building an authentic replica of a more-than-a-century-old plane from scratch is no simple task.

Today, Weeks had hoped to launch a replica of the Lark of Duluth — a quirky “flying boat” owned by Julius Barnes, a wealthy Duluth grain trader, entrepreneur and philanthropist — to mark the centennial of the nation’s first regularly scheduled commercial air service. On Jan. 1, 1914, the Lark made history when it began shuttling passengers between St. Petersburg, Fla., and Tampa, Fla.

But recent field tests revealed a problem: Weeks couldn’t get his replica biplane to lift off the surface of the water and fly.

For the complete story by Peter Passi of the Duluth News Tribune, click here.

Updated: January 2, 2014 — 1:09 AM

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