The Fisher Monoplane, designed and built by Wellington engineer Percy Fisher, holds an important place in New Zealand’s aviation history as the first plane built in this country to achieve controlled sustained flight.
Fisher completed his aircraft in November 1912 and made several test flights at Pigeon Bush Station, near Featherston. The windy conditions proved a challenge however, and they shifted the trial site to the more sheltered location of Hurunui-o-Rangi, finally achieving several successful flights of around 800 meters between 21 and 23 June 1913. The plane was reported to have a take-off distance of around 27 meters and travelled at over 60 kilometres per hour when airborne.
The monument near Hurunui-o-Rangi Marae commemorates the site of this incredible achievement.