Bleriot monoplane wreckage at Reims, 1909.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A wrecked Bleriot monoplane under armed guard at the famous Aviation Meeting at Reims, France in 1909. The first Channel crosing by aeroplane was made by French aviator Louis Bleriot (1872-1936). Bleriot took off from Les Barraques, Calais, France, on 25 July 1909, in his self-made 'Type XI' 25 hp monoplane, and made the crosing to Dover, Kent, in approximately 37 minutes.