French pilot replicates landmark 1913 Mediterranean flight
A French pilot Sunday crossed the Mediterranean in a replica of a fabric-covered plane that pioneering aviator Roland Garros used a century ago in a landmark flight from France to Tunisia.
Repeating Garros's history-making voyage on September 27, 1913, the pilot took off from Frejus in southeastern France and landed in Bizerte in Tunisia, the organisers said.
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It took 29-year-old Baptiste Salis more than seven hours to cover the 800-kilometre (500-mile) distance, said Arnaud Montoya, the spokesman for Replic'Air.
The weather conditions were excellent and Salis was cheered by a 1,000-strong crowd when he landed in Tunisia, Montoya told AFP.
Members of Replic'Air painstakingly crafted an exact model of the Morane-Saulnier G racing monoplane aircraft that Garros had used.
The Morane-Saulnier G, manufactured before World War I, was fashioned out of fabric-covered wood, except for the undercarriage struts which were of steel tube.
Garros was a fighter pilot during World War I and the famed Paris stadium which hosts one of tennis's Grand Slam tournaments is named after him.
by Prashant RAO © 2013 AFP
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Source : AFP