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Bleriot XI Thulin A 1910 a.jpg
At 4:41am on the 25 July 1909, Louis Bleriot took off from Calais in his Type XI monoplane, in an attempt to be the first person to cross the English Channel by aircraft. In doing so he would win the £1,000 prize money offered by the Daily Mail newspaper. In a time of 36 minutes and 30 seconds, at a height of around 250 feet and a speed of 45mph, without a compass and for a time in poor visibility, in which he could only see the Channel below, he completed the challenge and went down in history.

There is a Flightgear version of the aircraft, authored by Emmanuel Baranger, so that you can try the challenge for yourself!