Pilot recreates first flight across the English Channel 100 years on



Picture: copyright Rex Features/Sipa Press

Pilot Edmund Salis flew an original replica Bleriot monoplane over the English Channel to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first cross-Channel flight.

He flew from Sangatte, France, to Dover in England – landing on a grass airstrip at the Duke of York’s Royal Military School, close to where Mr Bleriot crash-landed after his flight. The cloth and wood monoplane he used, which dates from 1934, is identical to the one Bleriot flew.

French engineer Bleriot became the first person to successfully fly from Calais to Dover on 25 July 1909 in 36.5min.

Salis took off from Bleriot Beach, Sangatte, France. The crossing was part of the Dover 2009 celebrations marking the centenary.

Salis landed on a grass airstrip just before 0900 GMT at the Duke of York’s Royal Military School, close to where Bleriot crash-landed after his 36-minute flight, in the shadow of Dover Castle.

See Flight’s account on Bleriot’s Channel crossing plus a report following the event including a general arrangement

More on the Channel flight

The UK’s Hubert Latham lost out on victory to Bleriot as his Antoinette monoplane proved impossible to fly in “our famous July weather… first on Friday, then on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and so on up to the time of going to press, when Mr. Latham is still on French soil and still continues to calmly scan the horizon between times when he is not in touch with his Antoinette machine or renewing his notice to fly.”




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