Louis Blériot
35. LOCOMOTION AÉRIENNE Louis Blériot, sur son monoplan.
Collection of Dave Lam, 10-10-05

by Ernest Jones
     April 5, 1907---On this day Blériot made his first flight, one 5-6m, at Bagatelle, after several years of experimenting. April 5, 2-3m; April 19, crash.
     The machine was a tailless pusher monoplane, elevator and rudder forward, paper-covered wings upturned at lateral extremities and Antoinette 24 h.p. engine.
     Blériot began in 1900 with a beating-wing machine. His second was a Voisin along the lines of that made for Farman and Delagrange in 1905. In 1906 a third was experimented with on Lake Enghien. This two-screw, 24-h.p. Antoinette tractor biplane had two elliptical cells arranged in tandem, forward biplane elevator, rudder aft and was mounted on two floats. It was later altered and tried October 12-18, 1906, with two 24 h.p. Antoinette engines driving two propellers.
     Again it was remodeled, fitted with a 50 h.p. Antoinette. In this the rear ellipticalcell was comprised of two parallel surfaces. Two pusher screws were placed aft of the forward cell, with rudder in rear cell. Biplane elevator forward on outriggers.
     Wheels were substituted for floats and the machine moved to Bagatelle. Mounted by Peyret, this machine, now called No. 4, was smashed without flying.
     Blériot himself achieved his success with No. 5, the Canard, his first monoplane, on April 5, 1907. On the nineteenth it was broken.
     Then No. 6 was constructed, a Langley-type tractor monoplane, the Libellule, with dihedral wings covered with paper, Antoinette 24 h.p. engine and rudder at aft end of fuselage. At the tips of the wings were wing sections otating about transverse shaft as elevators. With this he made flights between July 11-August 6 up to 150m.
     August 10-September 17---With a 50 h.p. Antoinette, flights were continued, the longest being 184m., the longest flight since that of 220 m. by Santos Dumont on November 12, 1906.
     The Blériot VII (50 h.p. Antoinette), tractor monoplane, with combined ailerons and elevators (?) at each side of aft end of fuselage, flown next at Issy.
     October 5-December 18, 1907---Various flights up to 500m.
     April 1908---Trials commenced with Blériot VII-bis. (Antoinette 50 h.p.), tractor monoplane with warping wings, elevator and rudder aft end of fuselage.
     June 17-July 23, 1908---with VIII-bis. On June 29 he won the second A.C.F. prize for 200m. in a flight of 700m. On July 4 he flew 8:24 in the VIII-ter.
     September 9-October 30, 1908---Flights with VIII-ter at Issy, the longest being seven kils. in 6:40 on October 21.
     October 31---Blériot flew cross-country from Toury to Artenay 14 kils. He returned to Toury after one stop en route. Other flights in November. The Blériot IX was not overly successful.
     Then he produced No. X, a biplane, with three rudders forward on outriggers, two elevators aft on outriggers at outer extremities of wings, no tail and driven by chain through reduction gears by a 50 h.p. Antoinette. It was not lown.
     The Blériot XI (Antoinette 65 h.p.) was brought out in January 1909. This was a tractor monoplane with warping wings, open fuselage, fixed horizontal stabilizer in tail to which were hinged elevators and which were hinged elevators and rudder on rear strut of fuselage.
     This machine with the Gnome 50 and 100 h.p. engines was so successful that it was copied all over the world. In America copies and parts gherefor were sold to a rather large extent. Leblanc and others flew Bleriots in the Belmont Park meet in 1910.
     Blériot's greatest achivement in actual flight was his FIRST AIRPLANE CROSSING OF ENGLISH CHANNEL., July 25, 1909. In the Rheims meet in August 1909, he won first prize for speed over Curtiss. After some further experimenting with two other machines, including a monoplane "limousine," Blériot quit active participation in flying.

Louis Blériot
La Traversée de la Manche 25 Juillet 1909
(The Crossing of the Channel 25 July 1909)
Collection of Franco Maccare
great grandson of Bartolomeo Cattaneo, 2-28-06

Louis Blériot
Louis Blériot, 1909
Collection of Roy Nagl, 1-2-04

     When the Frenchman Louis Bleriot made the first crossing of the Channe in 1909 l, his venture threw the customs offices in Dover into a turmoil: British officials, who had never seen an airplane before and lacking instructions on this matter, solved the thorny problem by noting on the register the arrival on the British soil of a... Yacht.
Courtesy of Giovanni Giorgetti, 2-21-08

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