Aviation Historian 32
J.-C.Carbonel - France's Air Pioneers: Louis Bleriot
Bleriot is most famous for his development of the archetypal pre-Great War monoplane, specifically the Bleriot XI, the type in which he made his historic crossing of the English Channel in July 1909. Here a Bleriot XI gambols in front of spectators at Bournemouth racecourse in 1910.
A rare photograph of Adolphe Pegoud demonstrating the cable-and-hook system with a ground-based structure and a Bleriot XI. From the positioning of the aircraft at the beginning of the aerial runway, it is likely that Pegoud is bringing the machine in to alight on the wire after having accomplished a successful take-off and circuit of the flying ground.
Adolphe Pegoud in the cockpit of the Bleriot XI fitted with the hook and suspended from the wire. Pegoud was Bleriot’s favoured test pilot and undertook numerous flights in which he “pushed the envelope” of what was possible with an aircraft in terms of manoeuvrability. Pegoud was the first pilot in Europe to fly inverted and perform a loop, in 1913.
Although many of Bleriot’s aeronautical patent applications were wishful thinking at best, the cable-and-hook system did ultimately prove practicable and was used operationally on ships during the Second World War, although whether Bleriot’s patent was an influence is unknown. This Piper L-4, N50364/43-1439, based at Anoka, Minneapolis, is fitted with the hook used with the Brodie shipborne cable-and-hook system.