Aeroplane Aviation Archive — Issue 33 The World’s Fastest Aircraft

(Jacob Rumans) #1


The need for speed
Louis Blériot himself established two
records in his Bleriot XI, culminating in a
speed of 47.8mph (77km/h) on 28 August

  1. Just over a year later, Alfred Leblanc
    in New York took a Bleriot XI up to 68mph,
    the fastest speed achieved by the XI.

Blériot XI

Max speed: 68mph (109km/h)
Engine: 1 x Anzani 3-cylinder
radial piston
Power: 25hp
Wingspan: 25ft 7in (7.79m)
Length: 25ft 0in (7.62m)
Height: 8ft 10in (2.69m)
Ceiling: 3,300ft (1,000m)

Above: Blériot took o at sunrise for his cross Channel  ight. 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 aircraft, which never
 ew again, was hurriedly repaired and put on display at Selfridges department store in London.

Left: The Blériot XI monoplane was advanced for its time and laid the foundations for future
generations of aircraft design.

Below: Blériot perches on the cockpit rim of his Blériot IX for a photographer.

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