SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Louis Bleriot (1872-1936), French engineer, aviation pioneer and the first person to make a powered flight across the English Channel. Bleriot made his fortune by patenting a car lamp before beginning aviation experiments in about 1900. He tried a number of different designs before constructing the Type XI, a monoplane (single wing) design. Bleriot flew across the English Channel in the Type XI on 25th July 1909. The flight went from Baraques in France to the English town of Dover and lasted about 30 minutes. Bleriot established a successful aircraft manufacturing company which was eventually nationalised in 1937.
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