||Louis Bleriot was the first to cross the English Channel on 25 July 1909 in The Blériot XI, taking off at sunrise , a condition required by the Daily Mail (British newspaper) which is the source of the challenge. Louis Charles Joseph Blériot (1 July 1872 – 2 August 1936) was a French aviator, inventor and engineer. In 1909 he completed the first flight across a large body of water in a heavier-than-air craft, when he crossed the English Channel. He was also the first to make a working, powered, piloted monoplane. Blériot was a pioneer of the sport of air racing and the founder of an aircraft manufacturing company which outlived him. Linen backed horizontal format this image shows the early plane taking off with a small group of views standing on the ground.