Where Bleriot landed

Amongst many things I have never done, flying in a powered aircraft is one of them. My flying experience has been limited to a glider – an enjoyable experience but for all sorts of reasons – none related to fear – I have not been known to go anywhere by jet plane, not to mention turboprop or piston engine flying machines.

But back in 1909 Frenchman Louis Bleriot took a truly giant leap for mankind when he managed to get his plane from France, across the channel to England.

Back in 1998 I visited the spot where he landed which is marked with the shape and size of his plane. Here it is.

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That’s my then teenaged daughter standing (and shivering) on the plane. It is to be hoped that the surrounding bushes and trees had grown since Louis’ flight!

1998 was a mere 89 years after that maiden channel crossing by air.  At that time there would still have been people alive for whom seeing the flight would have been personal experience. It was certainly well into the era of photography and this picture (from Wikipedia) shows Bleriot and his plane back on July 25th 1909.

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It was a close call for this site is more or less at the top of the famed white cliffs.

Some of those bystanders will have lived into the jet liner age. What changes they saw.

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