Under an arrangement with the Napier 30,000 Club, a Curtiss B flying boat
was shipped on the SS Monowai from the Walsh Brothers New Zealand Flying School
at Kohimaramra, Auckland, on the 18th of December 1917.

Walsh Brothers Flying School badge
Vivian Walsh & Curtiss B Flying Boat   Flying School HQ at Kohimaramra
It arrived in Napier two days later on the 20th of December 1917.

The Recreation Hut

After wing and aileron modifications,
prior shipment toNapier.
Trainee pilots' quarters - Kohimaramra    

Moving the Curtiss to a Gulf Scow for transfer to the SS Monowai.
After reassembly, It went on public display on Napier’s Marine Parade for 1 shilling (10 cents) entrance fee.

Loaded on the Scow, for Auckland,
for loading onto the SS Monowai
for the trip to Napier.
Among Arnold Wright’s photo collection, there was a little photo album
covering the event from the departure from the Walsh bothers Flying School
at Kohimarama to the demonstration and passenger flights it made around
the harbour and Napier Town area, until - accidentally - it was badly damaged, when being towed to an anchorage.

Unloaded from the SS Monowai at Napier Curtiss B is ready
to shift to Napier’s Marine Parade display site.
The Curtiss was returned
to Aucklandand underwent
a rebuild - completed In 4 weeks.
Moving the Curtiss into the
display marquee on the Parade.
On display for a shilling entrance fee.
Prior to the Napier visit, it had an airframe and wing modification, a new Curtiss OX-5 engine installed
and the letter B allotted to it’s identification in their aircraft 'stable'.
The modifications improved the overall performance with a longer range and a top speed of around 70mph.
Vivian Walsh (on right ) and unidentified passenger ready for their flight
The passenger flights began on Boxing Day December 26th 1917
until New Years Day January the first 1918 (until the accident happened).
A satisfied passenger comes ashore.... ....and another goes aboard.
Curtiss B, with it’s OX–5 engine, was the first Curtiss flying boat in the Walsh Brothers “stable” and known as the "No.1 Bus".
These photos of Arnold Wright’s were taken more than 89 years' ago.
Some were in very poor condition from the process used in their printing, others fairly good.
One of our very helpful members, Derek Mills, has spent some time working to enhance them
for presentation on our web site.
An account of this visit by Vivian Walsh and the Curtiss B to Napier, and the unfortunate accident,
can be found in E. F. Harvie’s book "George Bolt Pioneer Aviator"
(a great book covering the life of one of New Zealand’s exceptional airmen).
Vivian Walsh and passenger
ready for takeoff
A safe landing for another passenger. Up the beach and back to base.
Not short of locals to help.

Back on the beach for servicing ? Local aviation folk enjoy a
'close relationship' with the Curtiss B.
Napier’s Bluff Hill...
flying boat approaching.

Some of the locals....assisting with the salvage of the Curtiss after the accident ? Material scattered on the wharf possibly
salvaged wing fabric etc from the accident.

This photo is a bit of a puzzle – as the Curtiss wings seem to be missing ?
The badly-damaged Curtiss in preparation
for it’s return to Auckland.
Iit was flying again within 2 months.
Uncertain if this photo shows parts of the
Curtiss arriving in Napier, or of
damaged ones being returned to Auckland.
Possibly taken from the Curtiss between
Dec.28th. 1917 and Jan..1st. 1918
Along with the other two photos in this collection, they could be the first aerial
photos of Napier...maybe the first
aerials in Hawke’s Bay.

Another aerial looking over Ahuriri.
The Curtiss must have been flying
very close to the hillside for this one !
Among the photo collection covering the Napier visit was this “ship to
shore shot “ that was very hard to slip into “the story” as to a
correct position, linking the coming or going of the SS Monowai
to Napier, but deserves a showing just for the man with the bikeall those years ago.!
This very historic aerial of the Marine Parade about December 1917 or January 1918
is truly a great “shot” and sad it was in such poor condition,
as it shows those old Napier icons known as the 'Six Sisters'
( the six two storied buildings lower left ) still there today and looking as good as they did
all those years back. Some of the other buildings in this photo are still there as well !