Blériot, Louis

Blériot, Louis

▪ French aviator
born July 1, 1872, Cambrai, France
died Aug. 2, 1936, Paris
 French airplane manufacturer and aviator who made the first flight of an airplane between continental Europe and Great Britain.

      Blériot, a graduate of the École Centrale in Paris, met and married Alice Vedène while performing military service as a lieutenant of artillery. He used his modest fortune, amassed as a manufacturer of headlamps and other automotive accessories, to fund his earliest work in aeronautics. Following a series of experiments with a towed glider on the Seine River, he built and tested a variety of powered aircraft, ranging from box-kite biplanes to a tail-first (canard) monoplane. On July 25, 1909, he piloted his Blériot XI, a monoplane with a 25-horsepower engine, across the English Channel from Calais, France, to Dover, Eng. This feat won him a prize of £1,000 offered by the London Daily Mail and resulted in his emergence as one of the leading aircraft pilots and manufacturers of the era.

      Between July 1909 and the beginning of World War I in August 1914, the Blériot factory produced more than 800 aircraft, many of them Type XI monoplanes (monoplane) or variations of that design. The embryonic air forces of France, Britain, Italy, Austria, and Russia all operated Blériot machines, and flying clubs as far afield as Australia purchased his monoplanes. Blériot aircraft and their pilots dominated the great European air races and competitions of 1910. In July of that year, the Type XI held the world records for speed, altitude, distance, and duration.

      Though successful, Blériot airplanes were among the most controversial of the era. A series of crashes resulting from the collapse of the relatively weak monoplane wings led to a temporary ban by the British government. Blériot himself was involved in identifying and remedying the problem. He consolidated his position as a leader of the aviation industry in 1914 by taking over the makers of the famous Spad biplane, which was used extensively by the French, and later American, air forces during World War I. He continued production of commercial aircraft during the postwar years.

Tom D. Crouch

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Blériot,Louis — Blé·riot (blāʹrē ō, blā ryōʹ), Louis. 1872 1936. French inventor and aviator who was the first to cross the English Channel by airplane (1909). * * * …   Universalium

  • Blériot, Louis — ► (1872 1936) Ingeniero y aviador francés. Realizó el primer vuelo sobre el canal de la Mancha en un monoplano de su construcción (25 julio 1909) …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Blériot, Louis —  (1872–1936) French aviator …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Blériot — Blériot, Louis …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Louis Bleriot — Louis Blériot Louis Blériot Naissance 1er juillet 1872 Cambrai Décès 2 août 193 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Blériot — Louis Blériot Louis Blériot Naissance 1er juillet 1872 Cambrai Décès 2 août 193 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Louis Blériot — Retrato de Louis Blériot. Nacimiento …   Wikipedia Español

  • Louis Blériot — im Jahr 1908 Loui …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Louis Bleriot — Louis Blériot Auguste Louis Charles Joseph Blériot (* 1. Juli 1872 in Cambrai; † 2. August 1936 in Paris) war ein französischer Luftfahrtpionier. Mit dem Flugzeug Blériot XI überquerte er am 25. Juli 1909 als erster Mensch in einem Flugzeug den… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Bleriot — Blériot ist der Name des französischen Luftfahrtpioniers Louis Blériot, des französischen Flugzeugherstellers Blériot Aéronautique …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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