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Blériot XI

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This object is on display in the Early Flight exhibition at the National Mall building.


The Blériot Type XI was designed primarily by Raymond Saulnier, but it was a natural evolution from earlier Blériot aircraft, and one to which Louis Blériot himself made substantial contributions. Blériot achieved immortality in the Type XI on July 25, 1909, when he made the first airplane crossing of the English Channel, covering the 40 km (25 mi) between Calais and Dover in 36 minutes, 30 seconds.

The Blériot XI in the NASM collection was manufactured in 1914 and was powered by a 50-horsepower Gnôme rotary engine. The airplane was purchased by the Swiss aviator John Domenjoz, a Blériot company flight instructor. Domenjoz earned a reputation as one of the era's most celebrated stunt pilots, performing in major European cities and in North and South America through 1916, at which time he returned to France. Following wartime service as a civilian flight instructor both in France and the United States, Domenjoz made one final barnstorming tour with his Blériot in 1919.

Purchase from Roosevelt Field, Inc.

Manufacturer: Bleriot-Aeronautique

Date: 1914

Country of Origin: France

Dimensions: Wingspan: 8.5 m (27 ft 11 in)
Length: 7.6 m (24 ft 11 in)
Height: 2.7 m (8 ft 10 in)
Weight: Empty, 326 kg (720 lb)

Materials: Airframe: Wood Covering: Fabric

Physical Description:Tractor monoplane with one 50-horsepower Gnome seven-cylinder rotary engine. Wing warping laterial control. Castering landing gear. Natural finish overall with black markings.

Inventory number: A19500095000

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