New England Air Museum
Bleriot XI

Bleriot XI

Gift of the United Technologies Corporation

The XI was the first extensively produced airplane and symbolizes the beginning of the aircraft manufacturing industry. After Louis Bleriot's 1909 flight across the English Channel, this model, produced in several countries, was the most popular of the pioneer aircraft.

This example, built by Ernest Hall, a Cleveland aviation figure, flew until 1917 when it was damaged. It had several owners and was restored to flight status by Shirley Wardle in 1966. He flew it until 1975. Wardle installed a 65 hp Continental engine but saved all the original parts. It was damaged again in the tornado which hit the museum and was restored using the original parts including the rare Detroit Aero engine.

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Specifications

Length: 23' 3"
Wingspan: 28' 6"
Height: 9' 4"
Weight: 400 lbs.
Cruise Speed: 40 mph
Service Ceiling: 3,300'
Powerplant: Detroit Aero 2-Cylinder
Year: 1911
Location: Civilian Hangar

 


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