On July 25, 1909, French aviator, inventor and engineer Louis Charles Joseph Blériot made the first flight across the English Channel in a heavier-than-air aircraft, a Blériot XI. This historic achievement not only won Blériot a lasting place in history but assured the future of his aircraft manufacturing business. The Blériot XI was eventually sold with various wingspans and as single- and two-seat versions, marketed as trainers, sport/touring, military, and racing/exhibition aircraft with several different types of engine, including the famous Anzani 3-cylinder fan (or semi- radial) engine. Like its predecessor, it was a tractor-configuration monoplane, with a partially covered box-girder fuselage built from ash with wire cross bracing.
Harriet Quimby (pictured at above right) was America’s first licensed woman pilot. In 1912 she flew a Blériot XI from England to France across the English Channel. The first Blériot XIs entered military service in Italy and France in 1910, and a year later, some of those were used in action by Italy in North Africa–the first use of an aircraft in a war–and in Mexico. The Royal Flying Corps received its first Blériots in 1912. During the early stages of the First World War, eight French, six British and six Italian squadrons operated various military versions of the aircraft, mainly in observation duties, but also as trainers, and in the case of single-seaters, as light bombers with a bomb load of up to 25 kilograms (just over 55 pounds).
Maxford USA's radio-controlled Blériot XI is approximately 1/6 scale and suitable for a 3 or 4 channel radio. Like the original, it features a balanced all-moving vertical rudder and a lifting horizontal tailplane that is fitted with full-flying elevator surfaces at each end that rotate together on a torque rod extending through the fixed inner section. The Blériot XI, like many early aircraft, was designed with wing-warping, which may be replicated for some radio-control models but only by a very few experienced modellers. Wing-warping is not used in this model; instead, to enhance flight performance and safety, Maxford USA have added ailerons, which are not scale, but are easy for most beginner and intermediate pilots to control. Advanced scale pilots who value appearance and are comfortable with slow turns may use tape to fix the ailerons to the wing and fly with rudder, elevator and throttle only. (Factory-original Mylar is available to order for covering the ailerons.) Maxford USA tested a few different versions using different types and combinations of composite materials to make this Blériot XI a stable sport-aerobatic flyer.