1909 was a time where the aircraft was still in diapers. Have spent a few years shy but momentous flight originating in the global aviation, led by the American brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright on December 17, 1903 at Kitty Hawk beach, and enthusiasts of the conquest of the sky with airplanes propelled by motors struggle to go back ever further away.
Existing aircraft then have nothing to do with their successors.
Machines are usually produced by its own pilots, just light frames, coated fabric, fitted with engines of very low power, low speed and limited range. They also lack the most basic tools for navigation.
But after 1909 and the Daily Mail newspaper has offered £ 1,000 over who first natural barrier that separates centuries in France United Kingdom: the English Channel.
Struggling to achieve a brilliant pupil of Wilbur Wright, the aristocratic Russian ancestry French Charles de Lambert, and Hubert Latham favorite.
Less obvious, but with much determination as his rivals for the challenge, competition entering Louis Blériot, a former manufacturer of automotive lanterns become builder of aircraft.
Since 1900, Gallo has built and tested prototypes of their own design. The first success is achieved in October 1906 when flying between two locations in a French Blériot VIII, 40 horsepower.
The offer of the British newspaper led him to design a single-engine Anzani 25 horsepower. He made a voyage to test a cross, which lasts almost 37 minutes and gives the hope of winning.
The Blériot XI is ready for its creator to be the first attempt to cross the English Channel.
But rivals are trying to exploit and awarded the first prize.
Favorite Latham fails in his attempt when you turn off the engine of his plane and Antionette IV falls into the sea. The aristocratic Lambert crashes during a test.
Comes July 25, 1909.
Louis Blériot walk with the aid of crutches due to burns suffered in a walk in one of its flight tests.
Despite this disadvantage, the prevailing weather and the pleas of his wife Alice because desist, feels like its time and it invades the irrepressible desire to go back on the canal
The Blériot XI off to glory at 4:35 near the port of Calais. The low wind speed confirms that the pilot is expected and the opportunity to direct his monoplane the British coast.
Soon the boat leaves behind Escopette, which tries to escort Alice, foreseeing that his reckless husband might suffer an accident.
Without any navigation instrument, flying at 64 kilometers per hour and 76 meters on the choppy sea, Louis determined to overcome the moving barrier is unknown. In the ten minutes was in the middle of nowhere, alone and lost “he said later.
The engine is overheating of the monoplane, but the rain helps keep providential in an acceptable temperature and not fail.
Spend the time and the pilot currency summits near Dover, in a mixture of excitement and concern. We know close to achieving its purpose, but far from the planned landing site.
In this vital moment, the front is intended to prevent strong winds fame. Blériot flies against him and find a clear place in the countryside where he puts his airplane, but still the air battle over and over again impossible.
With determination, Louis gives rest to the 25 horsepower Anzani’s plane touches the ground and having witnessed the feat as two of his countrymen, as well as several British soldiers and a policeman.
Just 36 minutes were enough to Blériot became one of the most famous pioneers of aviation.
The trip on the English Channel, that July 25, 1909, marked indelibly on the future of the emerging global aviation. Contributed to multiply the efforts of designers, manufacturers and pilots to fly ever faster, higher and farther, as well as government and convince the public of the promising benefits of aviation.
Is that the legacy for the posterity of Louis Blériot. That the world pays worthy tribute to the centenary of his flight across the English Channel.