Published April 07, 2015
DAYTON, Ohio -- Bleriot Monoplane at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
DAYTON, Ohio -- Bleriot Monoplane in the Early Years Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
The Bleriot monoplane was an important early aircraft because of its inventor's notable exploits and the aircraft's role in early training and reconnaissance. It first achieved fame in 1909 when its designer, Louis Bleriot of France, piloted one on the first flight across the English Channel.
During the early days of World War I, both the French and British used two-seat Bleriots for reconnaissance behind German lines. By 1915, however, more advanced aircraft relegated the Bleriot to a training role.
Many Americans who joined the British and French flying services prior to the U.S. entry into the war learned to fly in the Bleriot. Later, members of the U.S. Air Service sent to France for flight training received their first instruction in Bleriots with "clipped" wings that prevented them from taking off. At full throttle, the fledgling pilots bounced across the airfield, learning to control the rudder with their feet. Once they could keep the Bleriot on a fairly straight course, they advanced to an airplane that could leave the ground.
Mr. Ernest C. Hall of Warren, Ohio, built the Bleriot on display in 1911 from factory drawings. With it, he taught himself to fly. Mr. Hall donated the aircraft to the museum in 1969.
Engine: Anzani 3-cylinder of 20 hp
Maximum speed: 45 mph
Span: 28 ft. 6 in.
Length: 25 ft. 3 in.
Height: 8 ft. 4 in.
Weight: 700 lbs. loaded
Click here to return to the Early Years Gallery.
Please note Springfield Street, the road that leads to the museum’s entrance, is undergoing construction through the beginning of September. Expect lane reductions and some delays. Please follow the signs and instructions provided by the road crews.
Additional information about our COVID precautions available here
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is located at:
1100 Spaatz Street
Wright-Patterson AFB OH 45433
(near Dayton, Ohio)