The First Monoplane was a high-wing monoplane with the engine and pilot's seat located on a three-wheeled platform. A cruciform tail was carried on an uncovered boom extending from the wing. The 8 ft 6 in (2.59 m) propeller was mounted just below the wing's leading edge and driven by a chain to the 35 hp (26 kW) Green engine below.
Designed during a stay in Paris, construction began at Thomas Green & Sons engineering works at Leeds, where Blackburn's father was general manager and was later relocated to workshop space in a small clothing factory. When complete, it was transported to the beach between Saltburn and Marske for testing from April 1909. In that year, only taxying trials with the occasional hop were made. The only flight - on 24 May 1910 - lasted for around one minute, and ended in a crash in which the aircraft was damaged beyond repair. Blackburn later recalled the incident thus:
After racing along the sands what seemed a dizzy speed, the machine certainly did take off and then started a series of wobbles due to deviating from the straight and the low centre of gravity which I fear took charge.... I had probably been in the air for a minute only, but it seemed ages when I eventually pulled myself together and looked at the wreckage. Thus terminated my first attempt at flight, with no personal injuries other than bruises and cuts but with the total wreckage of months of laborious work.