Blériot XI

 

 

Bleriot XI

 

 

Blériot XI

Single engine, single or two seat observation aircraft

 

 In the weeks leading to the German invasion of Belgium on August 4th, 1914, the Belgian Compagnie des Aviateurs (which could boost four squadrons of Farman (Jero) HF.20 and HF.23bis observation aircraft) was reinforce by a fifth squadron (called Escadrilles de monoplanes) composed of several civilian aircraft and their pilots. Of these, three machines were Blériot IX single seaters (two owned by Jan Olieslagers and the single Blériot IX of Jules Tyck, both famous pre-war Belgian aviators). Because attrition was very high during the siege of Antwerp, the French Government dispatched two Blériot XI-2 twin seat aircraft to Wilrijk aerodrome on August 20th, 1914 to reinforce the hard hit Belgian air arm. After the retreat from Antwerp the Escadrille Monoplan or at least what was left of it, moved via Ghent and the Ostend Wellington Hippodrome to Saint-Pol-sur-Mer (near Dunkirk) in France. Here at least two more Blériot XI-2 aircraft were delivered by the French, so that 4 machines of this type were available in December 1914. By March 1st 1915 the unit was renamed Escadrille “Blériot” and operated very briefly from the famous “Ten Bogaerde” airfield near today’s Koksijde (Coxyde). One  new Blériot XI-2 made a force landing near the Zeebrugge-Brugge canal in early 1915 and is said to have been used at Zeebrugge by the Germans. (Info Cnock). After that, the few remaining Blériots were used for pilot training at Calais-Beaumarais and later Etampes. The last Belgian Air Service Blériot XI was destroyed in an accident at Etampes on April 26th, 1916. (Daniel Brackx)


Picture  Serial C/N Date In Date Out History
  - - Aug 1914 1914 Aircraft privately owned by Jan Olieslagers and incorporated in the Compagnie de Aviateurs.
  - - Aug 1914 1914 Aircraft privately owned by Jan Olieslagers and incorporated in the Compagnie de Aviateurs.
  - - Aug 1914 1914 Aircraft privately owned by Jules Tyck and incorporated in the Compagnie de Aviateurs.
  - - Aug 1914 - Blériot XI-2 delivered by the French authorities at Antwerp
  - - Aug 1914 - Blériot XI-2 delivered by the French authorities at Antwerp
BL 333 - 1914 - Blériot XI-2 delivered by the French authorities
B-1 - 1914 - Blériot XI-2 delivered by the French authorities
Note: Both aircraft sporting a serial number were Blériot IX-2 (twin seaters) and no further tie ups are known. Both aircraft could even be the same.
 
Pictures of unidentified Belgian military Bleriot aircraft.

 

 

 

 

Last updated 26/01/15 10:20   Daniel Brackx

brackda@gmail.com