The Blériot banking gingerly.
Designed by Louis Blériot and Raymond Saulnier (of Morane Saulnier) the Blériot XI was a light and sleek monoplane constructed of oak and poplar. Flying surfaces were covered with cloth. The aircraft's original configuration included a R.E.P. engine spinning a four blade metal propellor which proved to be unsatisfactory. Blériot decided to use a 25 horsepower Anzani 3 cylinder engine with much better results despite its crude nature. Blériot could be assured of the Anzani running continuously for an hour. The Blériot XI also had some groundbreaking technologies such as castoring landing gear, allowing for crosswind landings. Wing warping (instead of ailerons) controlled the aeroplane's roll. The tail section of the Blériot XI included a horizontal stabilizer with an elevator, and a rudder, but no vertical stabilizer. Unintentionally, Blériot added lateral stability to the design by leaving the aft section of the fuselage uncovered. This created enough drag to add stability to the aircraft's flight characteristics.