July 16, 1911 in the sky: Olieslagers sets a record in Belgium

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Aviation History – July 16, 1911. On this Sunday, July 16, 1911, the French aviation deplores the loss of one of its titles, namely the record for distance in an airplane on a world scale, the latter passing into the hands of the Belgians, more exactly in that of the aviator Jan Olieslagers who signed his performance in the Belgian sky, after taking off from Kiewit aerodrome.

It is with a monoplane airplane from the French aeronautical manufacturer that Jan Olieslagers thus illustrated himself, the device in question being motorized with a Gnome block and having Oléo spark plugs. The aviator, flying in the sky for 7 hours, 18 minutes and 26 seconds, will cover a journey of no less than 625.200 kilometers, the new record for the discipline to the great displeasure of Frenchman Maurice Tabuteau who was until then the holder thanks to a flight at Buc, during which he had traveled 584.745 kilometers, on December 30, 1910, piloting a Farman aeroplane.

With this magnificent flight, Jan Olieslagers will not be satisfied with the distance record, he will also win the Prix de l’Aéro-Club de Belgique. But on September 4, 1911, Geo Fourny will become the new record holder in this area with his Farman device, being the author of a course of 720 kilometers.

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