- : France
- : 1909
- : Anzani
- 25 ' 7"
- 47 mph (75 km/hr)
- 480 lbs (218 kg)
- : Active
- : Original
The Blériot XI is a French aircraft of the pioneer era of aviation. Bleriot’s most recognized aircraft was the first powered aircraft to cross the English Channel on July 25, 1909. Based on the evolution from previous models, it was primarily designed by Raymond Saulnier, later of the Morane Saulnier establishment.
The 22-mile, 36-minute flight across the Channel was an amazing accomplishment, earning Bleriot the London Daily Mail prize of £1,000 and making him famous. Previously, Bleriot made a successful living manufacturing automotive headlamps. He developed an avid interest in building and flying aircraft as a hobby, which blossomed into a new career.
Flying at the Aerodrome almost every weekend of the air show season, the maximum altitude that our Bleriot has achieved is approximately 60’. Bleriot Serial No. 56 is the oldest flying aircraft in the Americas and second in the world to the Shuttleworth Collection’s Bleriot XI, in Bedfordshire, England, which was manufactured just three weeks earlier.
Our Bleriot is thought to have crashed at an air meet in Saugus, MA in 1910. H.H. Coburn noticed the aeroplane in a junkyard while bicycling to and from work, procured it, and passed it along to Bill Champlin of Laconia, NH. Champlin, became aware of Cole Palen via a newspaper advertisement Cole posted seeking old aircraft. He gave the Bleriot to Cole in 1952 and by 1954, it was restored to flying condition at the Stormville, NY airport. In 1955 it was featured in the June issue of Mechanix Illustrated, generating early publicity for Cole before he established the Aerodrome.