Summary

French aviator Louis Blériot, his historic flight across the English Channel on 25 July 1909. Taking off just after dawn at 4:30 am he flew the distance of 22 statute miles (36.6 km) from Les Baraques (near Calais) to Dover in 37 minutes, accompanied by a French government destroyer as an escort. An outline of the aircraft laid out in granite setts in the turf forms The Blériot Memorial, which marks his exact landing spot on the cliffs above Dover at 51°07'52"N 1°19'34"E. The flight is generally acknowledged as the first by a powered fixed-wing heavier-than-air craft over a significant body of open water and made Blériot an instant celebrity. Blériot is also created with being the first to develop a practical working monoplane design, altough his earliest designs of 1907-1908 had a poor safety record.

On his cross-channel flight he flew a Blériot XI monoplane of his own design powered by a 25 horsepower 3-cylinder Anzani radial engine with a 2-bladed fixed-pitch wooden propeller. The Blériot XI was first flown on 23 January 1909 and later was displayed at the Exposition de la Locomotion Aérienne in Paris. During the crossing Blériot flew at an average airspeed of approximately 40 miles per hour (64 kph) and an altitude of about 250 feet (76 m). Soon after leaving the French coastline, the weather took a turn for the worst and Blériot lost sight of any landmarks and his escort destroyer for some 10 minutes. Arriving over the cliffs at Dover he made a heavy landing in strong winds, damaging both his undercarriagte and propeller in the process.

Description of Content

Colour illustrated card showing a photograph of Frenchman Monsieur Louis Blériot making the first flight over the English Channel from France to England at dawn on 25 July 1909, with a circular insert portrait of M. Blériot at top right. The main image shows the silhouette of a monoplane flying over the English Channel with waves breaking on a beach the foreground and the glow of sunrise behind scattered clouds near the horizon.

Physical Description

Colourised commercial souvenir postrcard.

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