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Last updated: 24 july, 2009 - 18:22 GMT

Cross-Channel flight: 100 years on

A Bleriot monoplane performs a demonstration flight at Le Bourget, north of Paris, during the 48th Paris Air Show, Saturday, June 20, 2009

One of the defining moments in aviation history took place 100 years ago, when the French pilot Louis Bleriot flew across the English Channel.

Bleriot took off in the early hours of the morning of July 25 from Les Baraques, near Calais, France, in a rickety monoplane called the Bleriot XI.

Thirty-seven minutes later he touched down near Dover, England, becoming the first to fly the 35km across the Channel.

In celebration of the 100th anniversary, a Swedish pilot is attempting to recreate the crossing.

Ahead of his attempt, Mikael Carlson gave the BBC a tour of the replica Bleriot XI plane.

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To talk about what happened on the day of that first cross-Channel flight, Europe Today's Paul Henley spoke to Bernard Chabbert, who is a pilot himself as well as a documentary maker and author on flying.

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First broadcast 24 July 2009

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