Bleriot leaving Calais, France, 25 July 1909.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Woven tapestry showing the 25 hp 'Type XI' monoplane flown by French aviator Louis Bleriot (1872-1936) setting off from Calais at the beginning of the first succesful aeroplane flight acros the English Channel. Bleriot took off from Les Barraques, Calais, in his self-made monoplane (his eleventh effort) and made the crosing to Dover in approximately 37 minutes, in the proces claiming £1000 prize money offered by the Daily Mail newspaper to the first aviator to achieve the feat. The longest time any of his previous aeroplanes had flown was approximately 20 minutes.