Water Bird was sadly destroyed in March 1912, when her hangar collapsed during a storm. Her life was short, but very productive. It provided the vital springboard to establishing a twin centre of technical innovation and flying expertise. This combination drove the development of more sophisticated aircraft at such a pace that by the end of 1914, just some two years later, viable carrier borne naval aircraft were in action against Germany. In 1918, a Felixstowe Flying Boat, piloted by Captain Cooper Pattinson from Windermere, shot down a Zeppelin for which he was awarded the DFC.
This was a period of enormous change as designers and engineers struggled to overcome the challenges posed by a new technology operating in a hostile environment. Before techniques were developed for operating from ships, the RNAS operated seaplanes often using special tenders. The first attack by ship borne aircraft, raids on the Zeppelin bases at Cuxhaven, Nordholz and Wilhelmshaven, was launched from these tenders on Christmas Day of 1914. This was followed by the Tondern Raid, again against Zeppelins, which was the first instance of carrier launched aircraft. This great tradition of innovation and successfully overcoming the severe and unique difficulties of operating aircraft on water all stemmed back to the Water Bird and the pioneering designs and spirit that she represented.
Waterbird is nearing airworthiness at her base in Windemere.