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The Vandersarl Bleriot: A Centenary Celebration

 by Javier Arango and Philip Makanna, Ghosts, San Francisco, $30 plus $10 shipping

 From July 1909 on, Louis Blériot’s Channel-spanning monoplane enjoyed wide popularity and wide production by others, with or without a license. Unique among the Blériot XI copies was one constructed near Denver, Colo., by Jules “J.J.” and Frank VanDersarl. Equally unusual, their one-of-a-kind creation survived to be restored to a modestly airworthy state by Xavier Arango’s Aeroplane Collection at Paso Robles, Calif., in time to make its first flight in more than a century on November 3, 2012 (see “Restored,” March 2014 issue). In The VanDersarl Blériot, Arango describes every step of the process, with details captured by renowned aviation photographer Philip Makanna.

With a press run of 2,000, of which 1,000 are available to the general public via, The VanDersarl Blériot represents a very focused variation on aviation books aimed at a niche market. But for enthusiasts of aviation’s pioneer era who appreciate the aesthetic of a handmade airplane given coffee-table treatment, plus a wealth of information on a true rarity… well, you know who you are, and you will want this book.


Originally published in the May 2015 issue of Aviation History. To subscribe, click here.