Blériot XI: Le Colosse de La Manche.

It seems this is a month of anniversaries. In these times of Brexit it’s somehow ironic to remember that 110 years ago a Frenchman took away Britain’s insularity. Louis Blériot crossed the English Channel at the helm of his most iconic brainchild, the Type XI.

Pretty neat commemorative postcard. It could have been another.

Loring R-I: Sin pena ni gloria.

This light attack/recon biplane was the first design produced in serie designed by Eduardo Barron in the mid/late-1920s. Obviously inspired by the Fokker C.IV, the R-I employed the same construction structure: wooden wings and steel tube fuselage, both fabric covered. Some of the thirty produced saw an utterly brief service (1926-27) in the Spanish Morocco, but the design proved to be barely satisfactory and they were mainly employed as trainers. They were swiftly retired from service in 1931. Loring had more luck with its replacement.

An imposing ugly duckling certainly.

De Havilland Gipsy Moth: In the bloodline.

Talking the other day about Olivia de Havilland’s 103 anniversary with a cinephile friend I remarked that she, and her sister Joan Fontaine, were not the only movie stars of the family. Their cousins’ brainchildren have also appeared in considerable number in the “silver screen.” Dragon Rapides, Mosquitos and especially Moths like this superb Gypsy Moth from the incomparable “Out of Africa.”

A charismatic and iconic actor indeed.