AN exact replica of the first ever British designed and built aircraft will be exhibited in Walthamstow next Sunday, marking 100 years anniversary since its historic maiden flight.

On July 13, 1909, Manchester-born Alliot Verdon Roe became the first man in Britain to fly an all-British built aircraft.

He adapted two railway arches on Walthamstow marshes, off Lea Bridge Road, as a workshop.

And after a number of short hops in his self-built Roe 1 triplane, he successfully flew the plane for long enough for it to be granted official recognition as a flight.

On July 12, a replica of the famous plane, built by former BAe systems employees and the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry, will be unveiled on the marshes by Sir Alliott Verdon Roe's grandson Eric.

Mr Verdon Roe, 56, of Dorset, said: “My grandfather's plane was British built, British designed and even the engine was British.

“Until that time most of the planes were French built, so it was symbolic of a British fightback.

“My grandmother had a belief in his ability against all the odds, and his story is a classic British tale of determination.”

Following the historic flight Sir Alliott and his brother Humphrey, while still based at Walthamstow, went on to establish a thriving aircraft manufacturing company in Manchester, called Avro.

The Avro 54 plane became the most prolific British aeroplane ever built during the First World War, with more than 20,000 built.

Every attempt has been made to make the fully flyable replica as close to the original as possible.

It was made using 1909 technology, and took three years to build - it even has an original JAP engine which was removed from a water pump in Yorkshire.

The plane will later in the year be exhibited in the Pump House Steam & Transport Museum, in South Access Road, Walthamstow, which has recently been rebranded as the Lea Valley Experience.

The AV Roe celebrations take place on Walthamstow marshes on Sunday from 1pm to 4pm.

In addition to the replica plane, there will also be presentations from Mr Verdon-Roe, David Rowlands, former Royal Aeronautical Society president, and Dr Jim Lewis, a local historian. Admission is free.