August 29th - Bleriot XI first flight


A full scale replica of the Blériot XI christened ''Le Scarabée'', the first aircraft to have flown over the City of Montreal in 1910, successfully achieved its maiden flight on August 29, 2014.

Piloted by Robert Erdos, Chief Test Pilot with the National Research Council of Canada, the Blériot XI is a replica aircraft, based on original plans, built entirely by volunteers of the Canadian Aviation Heritage Centre in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Quebec. The first test flight was performed in ideal conditions following a 15 year construction period. 

In 1910, Count Jacques de Lesseps was the first man to fly over the City of Montreal, including Montreal’s City Hall and the "La Presse" building. The Blériot XI is a wood and fabric monoplane originally designed by Frenchman Louis Blériot and is famous for being the first aircraft to cross the English Channel.

The Canadian Aviation Heritage Centre’s (CAHC) President, Mr. John Lawson, expressed his congratulations and thanks to the volunteers who worked on this project, ''Without the dedication of our volunteers, it would have been impossible to relive this important moment in Montreal’s aviation history. '' 
As for the pilot, Robert Erdos, he is passionate about science and aviation and volunteers his free time to organisations restoring vintage aircraft; ''Piloting these historic aircraft from the golden age of aviation has an immeasurable value that completes my professional training as a pilot and it’s also extremely fun. '' 

Video: Kirk Bennett