Hubert Latham's Antoinette monoplane downed in the English Channel, 1909.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Photograph. Hubert Latham (1883-1911) was a wealthy, charismatic French pioneer of aviation who twice attempted to fly the Channel in 1909, on both occasions failing to complete the crossing due to engine failure and ditching his Antoinette VII in the Channel. On Sunday 25th July 1909, Louis Bleriot became the first to successfully cross the Channel, flying his Bleriot XI monoplane from Calais to Dover in just under 37 minutes. Here, Latham's aeroplane is seen being salvaged after his second unsuccessful cross-Channel attempt on 27th July 1909, two days after Bleriot's flight. Latham was killed three years later while big game hunting in Africa.