Bleriot Airplane (AM1712/01) Scale: 1:10 Length: 84 cm
The Blériot XI is a French aircraft of the pioneer era of aviation. The first example was used by Louis Blériot to make the first flight across the English Channel in a heavier-than-air aircraft, on 25 July 1909. This is one of the most famous accomplishments of the pioneer era of aviation, and not only won Blériot a lasting place in history but also assured the future of his aircraft manufacturing business. The event caused a major reappraisal of the importance of aviation; the English newspaper The Daily Express led its story of the flight with the headline “Britain is no longer an Island”.
It was produced in both single- and two-seat versions, powered by several different engines, and was widely used for competition and training purposes. Military versions were bought by many countries, continuing in service until after the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Two restored examples – one in the United Kingdom and one in the United States — of original Blériot XI aircraft are thought to be the two oldest flyable aircraft in the world.
The Blériot XI gained lasting fame on 25 July 1909, when Blériot crossed the English Channel from Calais to Dover, winning a £1,000 prize awarded by the Daily Mail. For several days, high winds had grounded Blériot and his rivals: Hubert Latham, who flew an Antoinette monoplane, and Count de Lambert, who brought two Wright biplanes. On 25 July, when the wind had dropped in the morning and the skies had cleared, Blériot took off at sunrise. Flying without the aid of a compass, he deviated to the east of his intended course, but, nonetheless, spotted the English coast to his left. Battling turbulent wind conditions, Blériot made a heavy “pancake” landing, nearly collapsing the undercarriage and shattering one blade of the propeller, but he was unhurt. The flight had taken 36.5 minutes and had made Blériot a celebrity, instantly resulting in many orders for copies of his aircraft.
The aircraft, which never flew again, was hurriedly repaired and put on display at Selfridges department store in London. It was later displayed outside the offices of the French newspaper Le Matin and eventually bought by the Musee des Arts et Metiers in Paris.
Amati’s Bleriot Airplane kit has all the wooden and laser cutted parts, fabric cover for the wings, metal and brass parts and photo-etched metal parts. Display model, not suitable for motor or engine.
For more information on the original plane, please click here
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