VIDEO: Pilot replicates historic flight across Med

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.

VIDEO: Pilot replicates historic flight across Med
The fabric-covered plane that French pilot Baptiste Salis took across the Mediterranean on Sunday. Photo: Screengrab from Aeronews

Repeating Garros's history-making voyage on September 27th, 1913, the pilot took off from Frejus in south-eastern France and landed in Bizerte in Tunisia, the organizers said.

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.

(Google search engine also paid hommage to Roland Garros on the anniversary of his historic flight on Monday)

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.

(Watch this report from France Televisions, which is in French, of Baptiste's Salis's flight)

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