Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 01 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Coverage of Gaza in the Israeli media

Read more

REPORTERS

1914-1918: The Depths of Hell

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 01 August 2014

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Exclusive: Israel's US ambassador speaks to FRANCE 24

Read more

#THE 51%

World War One: The war that changed women’s lives

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Ségolène Royal goes for green

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

A look back at some of the Observers' best stories

Read more

DEBATE

Argentina Defaults: Kirchner Cries Foul Over 'Vulture Funds' (part 2)

Read more

  • Israeli soldier feared captured, ceasefire 'over'

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Israel's US ambassador speaks to FRANCE 24

    Read more

  • Air France ground workers to strike on August 2

    Read more

  • Rogue general denies Islamist seizure of Benghazi

    Read more

  • Ugandan court strikes down anti-gay legislation

    Read more

  • 1914-1918: The Depths of Hell

    Read more

  • Regional summit to tackle deadly Ebola outbreak

    Read more

  • French hospital to open wine bar for terminally ill patients

    Read more

  • Video: Tipping is dying out in French café culture

    Read more

  • €2.5 million in cocaine ‘disappears’ from Paris police HQ

    Read more

  • Appeal court keeps French rogue trader Kerviel in jail

    Read more

  • Interactive: France’s new plan to counter jihadism in Africa

    Read more

  • Ukrainian army suffers losses in separatist attack

    Read more

  • Argentinian markets plummet following default

    Read more

  • French Jews speak of growing fear in Paris amid Gaza conflict

    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)