Bleriot's cross-channel flight, 25 July 1909.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Contemporary postcard showing Louis Bleriot's (1872-1936) 25 hp 'Type XI' monoplane flying over the French coast on its way to Dover. Bleriot took off from Les Barraques, Calais, in his self-made aircraft and made the crossing to Dover in approximately 37 minutes. This (his eleventh effort) was the first successful powered flight across the English Channel, winning Bleriot a £1000 prize 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.