Aviation Pioneers

Louis Bleriot – First Flight between Continental Europe and Great Britain.

Louis Bleriot was a famous French pilot and inventor who lived between 1872 and 1936.

Bleriot was born in 1872 in Cambrai/France. He invested the money he earned in aviation studies with some of his small discoveries in the bicycle and automobile industry. He first developed several glider models. After the explosion engines were made light enough to be used in aviation, he turned to aircraft design.

louis bleriot 3
Source: britannica

There were several unsuccessful flight attempts, but he didn’t give up. In 1909, he flew over the English Channel with his own designed monoplane. It was a record flight and earned him both the fame and the £ 1000 prize of a British newspaper. During World War I, he gave various trainings and designed aircraft for the French air force. After the war, he worked for the development of civil aviation. Bleriot died in Paris on 2 August 1936.

Louis Bleriot
Source: science museum blog

Bleriot was only 18 years old in 1890 when Ader took off with his monoplane named “Eole” and proved that a vehicle heavier than air could fly. When he had enough funds, he made his first attempts to fly a glider. However, the trial flights of both the Bleriot and other aviators with the gliders pulled by marine motors on the Seine River failed. In 1903, after the successful flight of the Wright brothers in the USA, he turned to powered aircraft instead of gliders. He developed a monoplane design similar to that of Ader and made its first long flight on January 21, 1908.

Louis Bleriot – 25 July 1909

In the summer of 1909, pilots of France and England gathered in Calais to cross the English Channel by air. They chose between Calais on the French coast and Dover on the English coast because it was the narrowest part of the sea. Hubert Latham, who took off on July 19 with his 50BG monoplane named “Antoinette”, crashed into the sea halfway through the engine and was rescued by a French ship. Six days after this incident, on 25 July 1909, Bleriot managed to cross the 36.6 km distance between Calais-Dover of the British channel in 36 minutes with Bleriot XI, winning the London Daily Mail’s 1000-pound award.

louis bleriot english channel
Source: wikiwand

BLERIOT XI was the most popular aircraft of the early aviation era. The flight of his designer Louis Bleriot on the British canal on 25 July 1909 not only wrote his name in the aviation history pages, but also laid the foundations of the aircraft manufacturing industry.

This success has increased the interest in aviation in Europe and accelerated the development of aircraft designs.