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Latvian enthusiasts on Saturday, September, 12, 2009 unveiled a replica of a 1910 Farman 4 aircraft that they built from original, century-old plans.

Guntars Senkans, who led a team of vintage plane fans, said they had spent 15 years scouring archives in Latvia and neighboring Russia for plans of the plane, which was designed by French aviator and aircraft designer Henri Farman.

They then spent three years building the 560-kilo (1,234-pound) plane, which has an original 1912 US-made Curtis motor.

"Perhaps we could revive the tradition of restoring and building planes like this," Senkans told AFP before the unveiling ceremony at an airfield in Adazi, a town 24 kilometres (15 miles) from the Latvian capital Riga, .

With a maximum speed of 74 kilometres per hour (46 miles per hour), the Farman 4 was the fastest plane of its era.

Originally produced in France, it rapidly gained hold elsewhere, including Tsarist Russia, which ruled Latvia at the time.

A Riga factory turned out Farmans, but the production line, like RussoBaltique factory was evacuated to Saint Petersburg in Russia at the outbreak of World War I.

Although the replica didn't take to the sky at Saturday's ceremony, Senkans said there were plans to exhibit it at airshows.

Regarding the price of this airplane Senkans just keep a smile: "There is my soul, and I have no idea to sell it".
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