When Louis Blériot became the first person to fly across the English Channel in 1909, Europe began to see the value of airplanes in the military. Blériot created several versions of the plane with different engines and seating configurations including 1, 2, and 3 person models.
The Blériot XI was a monoplane which relied on warping of the wings instead of ailerons to control roll. The entire rudder rotated so there was no vertical stabilizer. This configuration dominated aircraft design for several years and can be seen in later aircraft like the Morane-Saulnier L and the Fokker E series.
The Blériot was used in both Balkan Wars in 1912 & 1913. By the time World War I began, most air forces in Europe were flying the Blériot, including France, Great Britain, Italy, Belgium, Serbia, Romania, Russia, and the Ottoman Empire.
|Country of Manufacture||France|
|First Year of Service||1911|
|Wing Span||33 ft 11 in | 10.33 m|
|Length||27 ft 10 in | 8.48 m|
|Height||8 ft 5 in | 2.65 m|
|Weight||660 lbs | 300 kg|
|Engine||Gnôme 7 cylinder air-cooled rotary engine, 50hp|
|Top Speed||66 mph | 106 km/h|
|Range||50 miles | 80 km|