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Bleriot Aeroplanes: Innovation and Adventure

  • Overview

    At our next Lunch-and-Learn, retired teacher and author Greg VanWyngarden will discuss the record-setting Bleriot XI airplane, its impact on aviation history and its Iowa connections to James Norman Hall and others. Designed and originally flown by Frenchman Louis Bleriot more than 100 years ago, this type of aircraft was flown by different aviation pioneers and achieved many landmark flights. During World War I, it was first used on reconnaissance missions and, later, as a training plane for student pilots – including a few with connections to Iowa. A historic Bleriot XI airplane hangs from the ceiling in the State Historical Museum of Iowa’s atrium. A lifelong Iowan, Greg VanWyngarden taught social studies and science in the Interstate 35 School District for 37 years before retiring. He currently lives in St. Charles, Iowa. An obsessive hobbyist, he has studied World War I aviation history for many years and has authored more than 15 books about the topic. He has given presentations on aircraft and airmen of the Great War at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, and at the Museum of Flight in Seattle. Pre-order a boxed lunch from Baratta’s for $10. It includes a wrap, pasta salad, chips, cookie and a drink. Please arrive early to pick up and pay for lunch. Advance registration is requested at iowaculture.gov.