Fantastic Flying Machines

  • By Susan K. Lewis
  • Posted 02.22.05
  • NOVA

It took a bold spirit to attempt to build and fly a primitive aircraft made of wood, wire, and fabric. Louis Blériot produced dozens of such airplanes over the course of his career. His Type XI, the small monoplane in which he crossed the English Channel in 1909, was one of the most commercially viable planes of its era. Yet in the years leading up to this success, Blériot may have had what aviation journalist Michele Benichou called "too much imagination"—concocting wildly different machines, many of which never got off the ground. See a gallery of them here.

Launch Interactive Printable Version

Have a look at the wildly different aircraft that pioneering aviator Louis Blériot dreamed up in the early 20t...

This feature originally appeared on the site for the NOVA program A Daring Flight.


Thanks to Tom Crouch of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., whose book Blériot XI: The Story of a Classic Aircraft was the primary source for this feature.


All images courtesy of Louis Blériot, grandson of the early aviator

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