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Blériot, Louis(lwē blārēō`), 1872–1936, French aviator and inventor. He devoted the fortune acquired by his invention of an automobile searchlight to the invention and construction of monoplanes. After making several short-distance records, he was the first to cross (July 25, 1909) the English Channel in a heavier-than-air machine.
Born July 1, 1872, in Cambrai; died Aug. 1, 1936, in Paris. French engineer, airplane designer, and pilot; a pioneer in aviation.
In 1900, Blériot began to build gliders and ornithopters, and in 1906, airplanes. In 1908 he completed an airplane flight over a course of 14 km, and in 1909 he made the first flight across the English Channel. Airplanes using Blériot’s system were subsequently in wide use in French aviation.