Bleriot XI Trainer / Reconnaissance Monoplane Aircraft
The Bleriot provided many firsts for aspiring pilots of the early 1900s, seeing time as a trainer in the early stages of World War 1.
Authored By Dan Alex; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
The Bleriot XI was one of the first notable monoplanes to achieve any level of fame. Primitive by today's standards, the system became a standard all its own in the early 1900s. The type served in a limited capacity during the opening salvos of World War 1 and would achieve fame by crossing the English Channel under the direct control of Bleriot himself. The aircraft will forever be remembered for its stable design and its use of "wing-warping" to control roll. At any rate, the Bleriot XI served to cement the legacy of Louis Bleriot in the realm of aviation history.
Design of the Bleriot XI is credited to Louis Bleriot (7/1/1872 - 8/2/1936) and Raymond Saulnier. Saulnier went on to make his own name in the aviation business under the banner of Morane-Saulnier. Bleriot was an engineer by education and credited with the invention of the automobile headlight. Using funds from his successful headlight business venture, he began producing his own working studies of the concept of towed glider flights and began to forge his love of aviation in the process. After a short partnership with Gabriel Voisin (another aircraft engineer whose name preceded some World War 1 fighter design designations all their own), Bleriot took to start his own aviation firm, at first producing the unsuccessful Bleriot V. The Bleriot V became Louis Bleriot's first design to achieve sustained flight.