The first person to fly the English Channel in an airplane was a Frenchman called Louis Bleriot. The flight took place on 25 July 1909 and won Bleriot a prize of £1,000 from the Daily Mail. An earlier attempt five days earlier, by Englishman Herbert Latham, had ended when he had ditched in the sea.
Bleriot, a motorcar headlamp manufacturer, had injured his foot and walked to his plane with the aid of crutches. He took off at 4.37am and, guided by smoke from a French destroyer, he spotted St Margaret’s Bay. Turning towards Dover he was caught by the wind and made a crash landing in Northfall Meadow, behind the Castle, breaking the undercarriage and propeller. The whole journey had taken 20 minutes.
A memorial in the form of a stone silhouette of Bleriot’s plane is set into the ground at the place where he landed.
Here is an aerial view from Google Maps (Scroll down to see Dover Castle )
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