List of English Channel crossings by air

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This is a list of notable flights across the English Channel.

First attempts[edit]

Date Crossing Participant(s) Aircraft Departure point
Arrival point
7 January 1785[1] First crossing by air Jean Pierre François Blanchard (France)
John Jeffries (US)
balloon Dover, England
Calais, France
15 June 1785 First air crash Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier (France)
Pierre Romain (France)
combination hydrogen / hot-air balloon Boulogne-Sur-Mer, France
Balloon blown back over French soil and crashed, both killed
25 July 1909 First person to cross the channel in a heavier-than-air aircraft Louis Blériot (France) Blériot XI Calais
Encouraged by £1000 prize offered by the Daily Mail for first successful flight across the Channel. Flight time 37 minutes.
2 June 1910 First person to make a double crossing of the Channel in a heavier-than-air aircraft[2] Charles Stewart Rolls (UK) Short Wright biplane Swingfield Downs, Kent
Sangatte, France
Eastchurch, Kent
23 August 1910 First aircraft flight with passengers John Moisant (US) Blériot XI Calais, France
Deal, England
Passengers were mechanic Albert Fileux and Moisant's cat
16 April 1912 First woman to fly across the Channel Harriet Quimby (US) Blériot XI Dover
A beach near Neufchâtel-Hardelot, France
Flight time 59 minutes. Her accomplishment did not receive much media attention, as the RMS Titanic sank the evening before.
1915 First Airship crossing A Zeppelin Part of Germany's War effort against Britain and discontinued in 1918
18 September 1928 First flight across the Channel by autogyro Juan de la Cierva (SPA) Cierva C.8 Achieved as part of the first flight by autogyro between London and Paris.[3]
19 June 1931 First crossing in a glider Lissant Beardmore (UK) Aero-tow from Lympne to an altitude of 14,000 feet (4,300 m)
Saint-Inglevert Airfield, Pas-de-Calais.[4]
6 September 1949 First helicopter crossing Helmut Gerstenhauer Focke-Achgelis Fa 223 Cherbourg
RAF Beaulieu
Accompanied by two Royal Air Force observers
12 June 1979 First human-powered aircraft to cross the Channel Bryan Allen (US) Gossamer Albatross Won a £100,000 Kremer Prize; Allen pedalled for three hours to propel the 55-pound (25 kg) aircraft
7 July 1981 First crossing by electric aircraft[5] Stephen Ptacek Solar Challenger Solar-powered
1981 First crossing by hybrid energy balloon[6] Julian Nott Solar-powered lift
31 July 2003 Crossing in a 20-mile (32 km) long freefall Felix Baumgartner (Austria) wingsuit and a carbon fibre wing
26 September 2008 First crossing with a jetpack Yves Rossy (Switzerland) Crossing completed in less than ten minutes[7]
6 August 2009 First crossing with an electric driven aircraft with onboard energy Gerard Thevenot Gerard Thevenot crossed the channel with his HYNOV, an electric driven trike aircraft with hydrogen as source of energy [8]
28 May 2010 First crossing by helium balloon cluster Jonathan Trappe (US) Completed in 4 hours. He crossed the Channel dangling beneath a cloud of coloured helium balloons and controlled his altitude by cutting the balloons free one by one with a pair of scissors.[9]
9 July 2015 First crossing by battery-powered electric aircraft[10][11][12] Hugues Duval Colomban Cri-cri Air-launched
9 July 2015 First battery-powered electric aircraft to takeoff and fly over the Channel[11][12] Didier Esteyne Airbus E-Fan
16 February 2016 First Quadcopter Drone to fly across the Channel in a single flight.[13] Richard Gill Enduro 1 Launch - Wissant

Land - Shakespeare Beach, Dover

Drone launched from beach in France and flew back to UK. The total flight time was 78 minutes at an average speed of about 10 m/s. The flight was conducted with the approval of the French DGAC and British CAA.
14 June 2017 First crossing by flying car.[14] Bruno Vezzoli, Jérôme Dauffy Pégase Mark II From Ambleteuse (France)

To - East Studdal - Village near Dover (UK)

Pegase developed by Vaylon company took off from France and flew to UK. Total flight time: 85 minutes Distance 72,5km which 33,3km over the channel.


  1. ^ "Blanchard, Jean-Pierre-François." Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 17 October 2009.
  2. ^ Humphreys, Roy (2001). Kent Aviation, a Century of Flight. Stroud: Sutton Publishing. p. 189. ISBN 0-7509-2790-9. 
  3. ^ "Channel Flight By Autogiro. Spanish Airman's Success". The Times (45002). London. 19 September 1928. col F, p. 14. 
  4. ^ "Channel Crossed by Glider". The Times (45854). London. 20 June 1931. col F, p. 12. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Solar Balloon Takes Flight Over England
  7. ^ "Pilot completes jetpack challenge". London: BBC. 26 September 2008. Retrieved 1 November 2008. 
  8. ^ "Man of La Manche". CAFE Foundation. Archived from the original on 13 July 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  9. ^ American crosses Channel carried by helium balloons, The Guardian. Retrieved 28 May 2010
  10. ^ "Did Duwal Beat Airbus Across the Channel?". AVweb. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  11. ^ a b Bertorelli, Paul. "Airbus' Asterisked Record". AVweb. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  12. ^ a b
  13. ^ "British firm fly quadcopter over Channel for first time (Wired UK)". Wired UK. Retrieved 2016-03-19. 
  14. ^ "Frenchman flies a car to Dover". 

External links[edit]

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