One hundred years ago today and a little-known French pioneer took his courage in both hands and made the world’s first air journey across the English Channel. Louis Bleriot towed his craft to a field near Calais and took off… 38 minutes later he crash-landed near Dover.
Today that original plane has been restored and will be making the same flight 100 years later. The frail craft called Bleriot X1 will be joined by other monoplanes built by Bleriot as this weekend, they celebrate the centenary of that first Channel flight.
Bleriot proved that flying machines were no longer toys and went on to mass-produce his invention. It was that first perilous journey which is said to have marked the starting point of the modern aviation era.