Louis Blériot

Auguste Louis Blériot (b.July 1, Cambrai, France 1872; d. August 2, 1936), graduated from École Centrale Paris with a degree in Arts and Trades and went into business manufacturing automobile headlamps. At 30 he taught himself to fly, in an aircraft of his own design. His skills as a pilot and designer improved by trial and error. He made his first flight in 1907 at Bagatelle, France and in two years his aviation company was producing aircraft known for their quality and performance. Louis Blériot became famous for being the first to fly an aircraft across the English Channel. On July 25, 1909, in his Model XI 25 horsepower monoplane from Les Barraques, France to Dover, England. This 22 mile, 40 minute flight won for him the much sought after London Daily Mail prize 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 skill and ingenuity contributed to the advance of aviation technology in his time, and popularised aviation as a sport. He remained active in the aviation industry until his death on August 2, 1936.