A plane that crossed the English Channel a 100 years ago has repeated the historic feat again today. In 1909, French aviation pioneer Louis Bleriot towed his craft to a field near Calais and it was the same again for pilot Edmond Salis — albeit with a little help from his friends.After a bit of elbow grease and a final good luck kiss, Salis strapped himself in and it was up up and away for the 40 minute flight to Dover. The crossing is part of a weekend of celebrations to mark the centenary of that first flight. The remarkable flying machine, which was made from cloth and wood, convinced a sceptical public that Bleriot’s machines were not just toys. That first perilous journey is often seen as the beginning of the modern aviation era.