Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Antoinette Monoplane, 1910


With a long, graceful, boat like fuselage and a paddle propellor, the Antoinette is a very striking early aircraft, and probably not very surprising to know that it's a French aircraft. Hubert Latham almost beat Louis Bleriot in becoming the first man to cross the English Channel by aeroplane in 1909, and if he had the Antoinette would no doubt be a lot better known today, however unfortunately Latham had to ditch his Antoinette in the water twice owing to engine failure, before Bleriot's succesful attempt.


This early survivor is on display in the Science Museum, London. It's early history is not confirmed, but it is believed to be one bought by Vivian Hewitt, heir to a Sunderland brewing fortune, but never actually flew it. It was bought by Robert Blackburn (of the Blackburn aircraft company) in 1916 from a garage in Colwyn Bay, Wales, for £60, and later presented it to the Science Museum

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