First Flight

June 30, 2009By Paris UpdateArchive


musee des arts et metiers, paris, bleriot

The Musée des Arts et Métiers has had the bright idea of celebrating the hundredth anniversary of Louis Blériot’s historic cross-Channel flight by building a flight simulator inside a replica of his plane (the real one, basically a wooden crate with wings, is on permanent display in the museum). It re-creates the conditions of that flight, right down to the weather and the crash landing on English soil. Kids used to sophisticated video games may find it a bit tame, but they should be impressed by the terrifying primitiveness of the equipment (Blériot could not accelerate or slow down the plane, for example; to land, he had to cut the motor and glide). The accompanying exhibition offers some context for the flight. Photo © J.C. Wetzel-Cnam


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