On Thursday February 9th 2017, "Pioneers,Showmen & the RFC," by Guy Warner, a book concerned with the early beginnings of flying in Ireland,will be
launched in the Officers' Mess at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, Co. Dublin. It tells the story, among others, of the 1908 Maryborough Flying Machine or Portlaoise Plane as it's now known, which became the first aircraft manufactured and flown in what was to become the Republic of Ireland, thereby
putting Portlaoise on the map as the birthplace of aviation in said Republic.The men involved in the manufacture and flight of this aircraft were, Frank Aldritt, Louis Aldritt, William Rogers and John Conroy all of Portlaoise.
The King's County Chronicle 4th November 1909 reported:
"It will be of interest to note that during the last week two brothers, Louis and Frank Aldritt, engineers of Maryborough, Queens County, have succeeded in the presence of some friends in covering a short distance in a small aeroplane. The brothers a year ago designed a
motor car which is a triumph of mechanical skill. They possess a high degree of mechanical skill and have refused offers from across the Channel owing to a love of their native town.