Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Colombia peace deal will be ‘lasting’, FARC rebel leader tells FRANCE 24

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Ghanaian President Mahama concedes defeat to opposition leader Afuko-Addo

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trump's TV Career Continues

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

President Park Impeached, Ghana's High Stakes Election (part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Aleppo Offensive, Renzi Resigns, Trump's Cards (part 2)

Read more

ENCORE!

South Korea: An inside look at the K-pop wave

Read more

#THE 51%

Diving back in: Offering support for French mothers returning to work

Read more

REPORTERS

Chaotic post-hurricane relief efforts in Haiti

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Cash crunch casualties: India's wedding industry suffers from currency changes

Read more

France

Bleriot XI takes flight for centenary of Channel crossing

Video by Louis MASSIE

Latest update : 2009-07-25

A restored original of the plane in which Louis Bleriot crossed the Channel 100 years ago on Saturday successfully repeated the French aviator's historic feat in front of several hundred enthusiasts.

AFP - A restored original of the plane in which Louis Bleriot crossed the Channel 100 years ago on Saturday successfully repeated the French aviator's historic feat.
  
A Bleriot XI cloth-and wood monoplane dating from 1934, identical to the one flown by Bleriot on July 25 1909, took off around 9 am (0700 GMT), watched by several hundred enthusiasts.
  
Around 40 minutes later it landed without problems in the English Channel port of Dover.
  
Pilot Edmond Salis, wearing a leather aviator cap and goggles, with a life vest strapped to his back, told reporters before take-off that the flight was "rather exceptional."
  
"Louis Bleriot surely asked himself the same questions as us before taking off, but there was more uncertainty then, since nobody had ever done it before him," said Salis, who has notched up dozens of flying hours in the aircraft.
  
Around 300 French, British and Belgian pilots were due to join in the tribute later Saturday, flying in waves over the Channel on board microlight aircraft, seen as the closest modern equivalent to Bleriot's plane.
  
Bleriot's 37-minute flight between Les Barraques near Calais -- since renamed Bleriot-Plage (Bleriot beach) -- and Dover convinced a sceptical public that aviation had a future.
  
He covered the 43 kilometres at an average speed of 65 kilometres (just over 40 miles) an hour, landing in a field at the foot of Dover castle.
  
The same Bleriot XI has already been flown over the Channel three times to mark various commemorations, including the 50th anniversary of the first flight.

Date created : 2009-07-25

COMMENT(S)