Clement van Maasdijk
Clement van Maasdijk
Arneym Website

     A search of the net for "Clement van Maasdijk" +aviation using Google, (5-29-08), will find about 20 links, most of them in Dutch, but with English translations available. If you specify "English Only," you will find just three. If you read Dutch, you are in luck. If not, you can ask for a translation of each link.
Aviateur Clement of Maasdijk verongelukt
     This page on the Arneym website offers the most complete revue of his life and career which I have found. If you read Dutch, you can access the original page by clicking on:
     If you need an English version, as I do, you can access a machine-translation by clicking on the title above.

Clement Maasdijk
     This page on the Dutch version of Wikipedia is quite helpful. It offers several nice images and the machine-translation of the text is somewhat readable. To access the English version of the site, just click on the title above.
     If you read Dutch, you can access the original page by clicking on:

via email from Auke Zeilstra, 4-22-08
Dear Mr. Ralph Cooper.
     First, I would like to introduce myself. I am a model building and- flying enthusiast. It happened that in the village of Heeremveen in Holland, (Friesland), in the year 1910, Mr. Clement van Maasdijk flew a Sommer aeroplane.
     Our committee plans to recall that historical event in 2010. There will be speeches, airshows and an exhibition of several models of the Sommer aeroplane, both static and flying. We are just beginning to organize the celebration.
     I have made several oldtimer planes, (indoor- and outdoor- flying), and now I plan to build a model of the Sommer aeroplane that was purchased in 1910 by Mr.van Maasdijk. I want to ask you if there are any plans of the plane and especially about the improvements which Mr. Sommer had made on the rear stabiliser.
     It happened that Mr. van Maasdijk died four weeks after the show in Heerenveen which had been held on the 27th of August, 1910. I believe that the Mr. Sommer's invention would have prevented the crash. Therefore, I plan to use it in the model plane and explain it to the public. I think the model plane will be easier to handle too.
     Is there an list of what kind of materals were used in the building opf the plane? A partlist and drawings would be welcome too.
     I have found some plans in your articles and that's enough for me to build a little plane 1:10. ( weight about 600 grams electrical driven). It can be flown outside until the wind exceeds a speed of 3. If could also be flown inside sportinghalls due to its slow speed.
With regards:
Auke Zeilstra
Editor's Note: If you can help to answer any of Auke's questions, please contact me. I will forward your message to him.

via email from Auke Zeilstra, 11-19-10
Dear Mr. Ralph Cooper.

This summer there was a memorial for Mr. Clement van Maasdijk who flew a Roger Sommer aeroplane at Heerenveen the Netherlands in 1910.

There was an airshow and an exhibition as well .
For this reason, I made a little Sommer airplane ( span 1 mtr,)
It flys very well.

When you Google: You Tube “ rc model van maasdijk “ You can watch it.

with regards Auke Zeilstra


     Documentaire van Johan van der Zee met veel archiefmateriaal over de eerste vlucht van een Nederlander in eigen land door luchtvaartpionier Clement van Maasdijk, die officieel niet de eerste vlucht bleek te zijn. Van Maasdijk ging op 31 juli 1910 vanaf de oude Thialf-ijsbaan in Heerenveen met zijn Sommer Biplane de lucht in. Heerenveen stond op z'n kop en ongeveer 100.000 mensen kwamen van heinde en verre om de vliegdemonstratie te aanschouwen. Een maand na zijn vlucht in Heerenveen stortte Van Maasdijk neer in Arnhem en kwam hierbij om het leven. Hij was hiermee wel het eerste officiële slachtoffer van de luchtvaart in Nederland. Zijn verloofde was getuige van het fatale ongeluk.
     In 2010 wordt Van Maasdijks prestatie uitgebreid herdacht en gevierd in Heerenveen en omstreken. Alleen wel met de toevoeging 'eerste gebrevetteerde vlucht', omdat later bleek dat op 30 juli 1910 al een klein vluchtje was gemaakt door Johan Hilgers in de buurt van Ede. Die werd echter niet erkend als de eerste vlucht, omdat Hilgers geen brevet had.
Contributed by Auke Zeilstra, 11-21-10

Translation from the Dutch using Google
     Documentary by Johan van der Zee with much archival material about the first flight of a Dutchman in his own country by aviation pioneer Clement Maasdijk, officially not proved to be the first flight. From Maasdijk started on July 31, 1910 from the old Thialf ice rink in Heerenveen with Sommer Biplane in the air. Heerenveen stood on its head and about 100,000 people came from far and wide to witness the flight demonstration. A months after his flight from Heerenveen Maasdijk crashed down in Arnhem and lost their lives. He was does the first official victim of aviation in the Netherlands. His fiancee witnessed the fatal accident.
     In 2010, Van Dijk Maas performance widely commemorated and celebrated in Heerenveen and surroundings. Alone or with the suffix 'first certified flight "because it turned out that on July 30, 1910 has a small flight on was created by John Hilgers near Ede. Which was not recognized as the first flight, Hilgers because no license had.
Contributed by Auke Zeilstra, 11-21-10

Clement van Maasdijk died in a crash on 27 August, 1910.
Aviateur Clement of Maasdijk verongelukt

Maasdijk, de oerste Hollandsche vliegenier, kwam -- gelijk men weet
-- nu ruim één jaar geleden om op het landoed ..Warnsborn" bij
Collection of Jean-Pierre Lauwers

Courtesy of Auke Zeilstra, 6-11-08

The public shock over the first fatal accident in the Netherlands, especially in Heerenveen, was intense.
A quotation from the local paper "Leeuwarder Courant":

"The men stood silent and said not a word, they looked at each other, finding it difficult to accept the fact that: "The hero of Heerenveen was really gone, having perished much too soon following his first entry into the limelight. . . .' . "

On Tuesday, August 30, 1910, at 1130, the burial procession departed from Diaconessenhuis to pass through Amsterdamseweg, Sweerts Landasstraat, Zijp Gate, Jansbuitensingel and Apeldoornseweg, arriving at the Moscowa cemetery. There, at about 1 PM, Clement van Maasdijk was buried with great solemnity.

It was a touching sight, when, as the coffin was slowly being let down into the grave , his fiancée threw flowers onto the coffin."

After the burial, the Arnhemse flying committee announced that a search would be initiated to get money for a stone tablet."

"At the place where you died,, a memorial will be placed in your memory." (at the Warmsbormer heide)

A red granite monument was erected the following year and was accompanied by a pedestal bearing the propeller of Van Maasdijk's plane. . The propeller unfortunately was lost in a brush fire, but the monument is still available to visitors.

On July 18, 1911, there was a re-burial of the body. The grave is now located on the border between the General and the Catholic cemeteries on Moscowa.

Nearby was a bronze bust of van Maasdijk made by the artist August Falise. The bust stands on a hardstone pedestal and bears a inscription.

In 1986, the bust was stolen and after a period of time, it was discovered in the town of Enschede by the flyer Mr. Tijn van Beek.
The municipality of Arnhem bought the bust from the antique dealer in whose shop it was found, for two thousand guilders.

For many years, the monument was located in a square, (Tamboersbosje), near the Sonsbeek-side of the railway station.

When the area underwent renovation of the railway station and the Amsterdamse road was widened in the vicinity of of Arnhem - Central station '), the statue was relocated to the village of Schaarsbergen in 2001 where it can be found on Kemperbergerweg by the Reformed Church.

Once again the statue of Clement van Maasdijk is close to the place where he died .

Editor's Note:
If you have any more information on him or his career,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper

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