The VII was a further development of the Antoinette IV, with increased engine power and using a wing warping system developed by Levavasseur for the Antoinette V in place of the Antoinette IV's ailerons. With this aircraft, Levavasseur hoped that Antoinette test pilot Hubert Latham would be able to make the crossing of the English Channel that he had previously attempted in the Antoinette IV and claim the Daily Mail prize then on offer. As it happened, the Antoinette VII's first flight took place on 25 July 1909, the same day that Louis Blériot succeeded in crossing the channel in his Blériot XI. Undaunted, Latham made the attempt anyway on 27 July. Unfortunately, the result was the same, with Latham making a forced landing this time within sight of the English coast only 1.6 km (0.99 mi) away. He and the aircraft were rescued by HMS Russell.
Lathams Antoinette VII
The following month, Latham flew the same aircraft at the Grande Semaine d'Aviation de la Champagne, winning the prize for altitude (155 m, 509 ft) and coming second in the contest for the fastest circuit, with a speed of 68.9 km/h, 42.8 mph