Lark of Duluth Takes To The Water; Cirrus Shows Off New Jet

Posted at: 07/14/2013 7:00 PM | Updated at: 07/14/2013 10:28 PM
By: Laurie Stribling
lstribling@wdio.com

The Lark of the Lake Festival wrapped up Sunday with a show from both Duluth's history and future.

The Lark of Duluth took to the water off the shore of the Sky Harbor Airport. It's a replica of the world's first commercial airliner that first came to the Twin Ports back in 1913.

"It's a piece of Duluth history," Tom Betts, with the Duluth Aviation Institute, said.

Betts and Mark Marino spent the last five years putting together the replica. They hoped it would be ready to fly for the festival, but mother nature had a different idea.

"Didn't we have an awful spring?" Betts said. "It really curtailed a lot of flight testing. When we're all confident it's ready, we'll take it up there and we'll fly it. I can't put a date on that."

The Lark of the Lake Festival celebrated 100 years in aviation for the Twin Ports. Along with many different aircrafts on display, there were carriage rides, music and food. There was also a grand finale put on by Cirrus Aircraft.

The Vision jet flew by the festival and touched down on the runway. It is the first prototype for the company's next design. Cirrus Aircraft CEO and Co-Founder Dale Klapmeier said he hopes to have the new jet on the market in just over two years.

Klapmeier also said the future of aviation in Duluth is promising.

"Duluth is truly becoming one of the major hubs of general aviation in this country," Klapmeier said. "Our next 100 years is going to be every bit as exciting."

The next stop for the Lark of Duluth will be at the AirVenture air show in Oshkosh, Wis. It runs July 29 to August 4.

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