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Louis Bleriot

French Aviation Pioneer

Born Cambrai, France

July 1, 1872—August 2, 1936

Louis Bleriot graduated with a degree in Arts and Trades from Ecole Centrale Paris. After successfully establishing himself in the business of manufacturing automobile headlamps, at age 30 he began his lifelong dedication to aviation. In 1907 he made his first flight at Bagatelle, France, in an aircraft of his own design, teaching himself to fly while improving his design by trial and error. In only two years his new aviation company was producing a line of aircraft known for their high quality and performance.

Louis Bleriot achieved world acclaim by being the first to fly an aircraft across the English Channel, a feat of great daring for those times. On July 25, 1909, in his Model X125 horsepower monoplane, he braved adverse weather and 22 miles of forbidding sea and flew his machine from Les Barraques, France to Dover, England. This 40 minute flight won for him the much sought after London Daily Mail price of 1000 pounds sterling.

In the 1914-1918 War his company produced the famous S.P.A.D. fighter aircraft flown by all the Allied Nations. His exceptional skill and ingenuity contributed significantly to the advance of aero science in his time, and popularized aviation as a sport. He remained active in the aero industry until his death on August 2, 1936.

Invested 1967 in the International Aerospace Hall of Fame

From "These We Honor," The International Hall of Fame; The San Diego Aerospace Museum, San Diego, CA. 1984


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Updated: March 12, 2004