Channel Crossing

One hundred and twenty years ago, the Wright brothers took to the skies (briefly) to complete the world’s first powered heavier-than-air flight. Made of spruce, ash, and canvas, their ‘Wright Flyer’ propelled itself through the air for 260 metres / 850 feet, and into the record books.

Just six years later and aircraft development was so rapid that planes could stay airborne for hours at a time, with this, the Blériot XI, the first to cross the English Channel. A competition run by an English newspaper, Louis Charles Joseph Blériot took the £1,000 prize, and with it over a hundred orders for his new monoplane.

This incredible recreation of that pioneering aircraft is the work of Nikolaus Löwe, and includes functioning control surfaces via the cockpit stick, a foot-pedal operated rudder, suspended landing-gear, and a working semi-radial engine.

There’s more to see at Nikolaus’ photostream and you can head to the skies over the English Channel in 1909 via the link above.

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