Hundreds of pilots in modern and antique airplanes are crossing the
English Channel Saturday to mark 100 years since the first over-water,
international airplane flight.
On July 25, 1909, Frenchman
Louis Bleriot flew from Calais to Dover. His success is credited with
turning flight from an eccentric pastime into a serious pursuit.
After the flight, Bleriot received hundreds of orders for copies of the plane he built, many from European militaries.
original plane is on display at the Museum of Arts and Crafts in
Paris. On Saturday, French pilot Edmond Salis used an exact replica of
the wooden and cloth plane built by Bleriot to recreate the crossing.
told reporters he felt some of the same apprehension he imagined
Bleriot felt on making the crossing. But like Bleriot, Salis took off
from the beach now named after the famous aviator, and landed without
problems in Dover nearly 40 minutes later.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.