Aviation History – July 20, 1909. No less than 25,000 gold francs, such is the endowment of the aviation prize set up by the British newspaper the Daily Mail, which intends to reward with this sum of money the pilot who manages to cross the Channel in taking the path to heaven. An event that aroused the interest of the French air pioneer Louis Blériot. The latter has, in fact, announced this Tuesday, July 20, 1909 that he will participate in this prize.
This announcement takes place the day after Hubert Latham’s attempt to claim the trophy. A trial that unfortunately ended in failure. The aviator fell into the sea, the fault of his Antoinette IV monoplane whose engine was poorly supplied with fuel.
Louis Blériot, meanwhile, chose to take part in the prize at the controls of a Blériot XI monoplane with a 3-cylinder engine designed by Alesandro Anzani that can develop a power of 25 horsepower. It was in the village of Baraques that he prepared for this ambitious raid, scouting Calais to determine the best place to take off. On July 25, 1909, it was he who won the Daily Mail prize.