Born into a well-to-do family in the North of France, Louis Blériot, a young engineer became, at the age of 25, a car lamp manufacturer using his own patents for acetylene lamps. After 10 years of research in aviation and more than 30 "crash landings", Louis Blériot became world famous with his historic cross-channel flight from Calais to Dover on 25th July 1909. He then became the first aviation industrialist, producing more that 1000 examples of his cross-channel monoplane, the Blériot XI. During WWI, he produced the famous SPAD fighters, with which all French aces won most of their victories. After the war the Blériot factory continued to produce a wide variety of aircraft; airliners, floatplanes, flying boats, trainers, fighters, and bombers, until its nationalisation and Blériot's death in 1936.