Most recent post

Jack, United States

I just saw a pic of a happy pilot! You’re starting to realize how truly big this thing is going to be, aren’t cha? I’ve been resisting the urge to ask how things are going, and it’s paid off… I’ve got my answer! Good for you!

Jack, United States

After I told Jack I bought the 5 cylinder Velie radial, a 85 year old engine from the US:
Good for you buddy!
I was thinking about the engine last night, for the price, you can’t beat it. The Big Twin, through Valley Engineering is already 6 grand. Most engines are nearing $10,000. I think the only other thing you need to buy is the silk scarf. I’m real happy for you – Good for you! Congratulations

Rudi Fick, South Africa

Hi there.
Excellent web u got there.. I’m real interested in your project, Nice kit to built with lots of history, and will always turn heads with it.. I assume those yellowish spray on every join on the frame is some kind of rust preventative?? Not that aluminium rust? Please…LOTS of photo’s of that engine..ignition, carb , rockers. Manifold, ect. LOVE the work u have done!!! Looking forward to the next “reading” of what u are doing there in your garage.
Rudi Fick
South Africa. (Sorry, not into Rugby)
Ps. Engine should be there by now?? It’s not Africa there u know??

Ayden Crequer, Christchurch, New Zealand

Sorry lost Ayden’s message, but he was very keen on looking at the plane and the engine. He works at Air New Zealand as an engine and frame engineer if I remember well. He was very impressed. Ayden was also the person who organized the NDT (non destructive tests) for me at his work place, so I am very happy about that. He has good contacts and a lot of knowledge !!!

Barry Tod (Baz), Christchurch, New Zealand

Hi Gert
First call me Baz, only my family (well the older ones)call me Barry!
Just been looking over your project, a great job you are doing. I am in Christchurch and am rebuilding a 1951 J5F Auster at Rangiora airfield. ………. That engine looks in great condition. (Loved the Daleks!) …………
I’ll be keeping an eye on progress.
Here’s a link to the thread I have on my project on the Wings over New Zealand website.

Charles, France

Cool site, Gert – how do you find the time?!

my answer:
Thanks a lot Charles !!
I think I like documenting it and “showing it of” to you guys.
Also I can’t just build all the time and be in the garage or shed, other family commitments !! So doing a bit of work in the living room with the family is OK and it still feels like I am working on the plane 🙂
Also this way I have some things to look at during the day while at work when I have a spare minute and think about the next step or design something for my Bleriot !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rudi, South Africa

After Rudi was watching my video clip of bending the rib:
Great work.. Am watching every second day for new updates.. Donno what I’m gonna do when U fin with that Bleriot…. Go Gert !!!!!!

my answer to him:
When I am finished building you just need to watch video’s of me flying it !

His reply:
Like I said.. Looking in REGULARLY to see how the built goes.. Love all the pictures of all the work and engine that u took apart. Love it Love it Love it. I think when you have those wings on it you going to have an good idea of the size of your plane.. can’t wait.. But I better wait, otherwise u’re going to be finish too soon and I will have to look at you flying the plane.. over and over again..Greetings and enjoy your built.

Zane Lee, Melbourne, Australia

I just stumbled across your website and loved what I saw.
I have finally been given a copy, of a picture of my great grandfather flying this plane in Egypt during word war 1. This model however has duel controls as it was a trainer. If you like I can send you a picture of this if you like.
Anyway keep me updated with your progress, good luck and if all goes well I’d love to come over from Melbourne and see the plane once finished.

Second email:

I have attached a copy of the photo for you, please excuse the quality. Ill try to get a better copy for you ( and me) please let me know if it is the correct aircraft too. My great grand father Albert Cowan is in the front seat teaching others to fly. He did this whilst he was recovering from a sniper shot to the eye when on a ship at Gallipoli. When they found out he was flying with one eye they put him on the next ship back to Australia.


GREAT PHOTO ZANE, LOVE IT !!!!!!!!!!!! Yes it is a Bleriot al-right !
You are welcome Zane at the end of the year here in New Zealand (close to Christchurch), when my Bleriot is finished !


Also just got the back of the photo from Zane:


Graham Orphan, Blenheim, New Zealand

Graham is the organizer of the Omaka air show in Blenheim.
Hi Gert,I have continued to enjoy your updates re the Bleriot project. It looks to be well on schedule to xxxxxx (top secret xxxxxxx)
I have to say your propeller is STUNNING! It has the perfect profile for an early style airscrew for a Bleriot. Chad has done a great job there.

My parents, Breskens, The Netherlands

Hallo Gert.
We kunnen ons voorstellen dat je trots bent op je werk (machine). Zijn trots op je. Wanneer ga je de motor proberen, of moet je wachten op de montage op het vliegtuig?
Het ziet er prachtig uit.
Pappa en mamma.
(Hello Gert.
We can imagine that you are proud are about your engine. We are proud about you. When are you going to try the engine, or do you have to wait until its mounted on the plane?
It looks great.
Dad and mum.)


I am so looking forward to the sound of that radial Gert, you are making a beautiful job of the rebuild and the engine will look so at home on the front of the Bleriot.

After I started my Velie engine

After I started my Velie engine, these are the compliments I got:

“hahaha great work… I could just see that trailer taking off into the clear blue skies”

Nicki shared my Facebook link:
First Velie to run in NZ since 1936 – Very Exciting moment for the vK’s.

wow!, Sounds cool, Man!!!, You’re going to be flying a real beast!!!

wow, fabulous, what a great sound, congratulations Gert.

Marty (from Airdrome builders forum):
Congratulations – what a great effort !

Superb, the noise is faboulous. Keep the good work Gert. A salute from France

VERY NICE! Congrats. Almost home. Flying this year for sure.

More reactions after starting the Velie

Gert, Congratulations. Always nice to get an antique engine overhauled and running. Exciting.


Davy Cash (from Airdrome builders forum):
THATS AWESOME !! Thanks for posting that video !! 😉 This group is
pretty awesome… I’ve learned more in 3 or 4 days than months of
research on my own !

Cam (brother in law):
Great work Gert, I knew she’d breathe life. 🙂

Mike Fleming, flies from Rangiora airfield, New Zealand

Hi Gert,
Thanks for seeing to my chocks yesterday. My Eindekker flew beautifully for an hour but the cold was getting to me. I am happy to have an aeroplane to fly again, all three of them were grounded for a while for various reasons. I will tackle the Luton Minor next as that just needs attention on one cylinder head gasket. I do enjoy flying the Luton.
I am very impressed with your web site and the organised way you are going about things. I love your radial engine. Did I tell you that I have a Rotec nine cylinder radial for a Spezio Tuholer that I am working on at home? I note that your house is made from straw bales too. That would be my ideal choice of building material as well but the council I believe does not allow that construction any more. Sad. Knock on my hangar next time you are at the airfield I tend to lock myself away so that I can get things done but would love to catch up with you again. I am glad that you have Evan Belworthy on side he and his father are a fount of knowledge. Alan is particularly good with magnetos and general ignition problems.
Regards, Mike.

Henk van Hoorn, The Netherlands

Henk, did fly his Bleriot in the centennial Channel crossing together with Pascal Kremer, who flies a Bleriot made from a kitset like mine, a few years ago 🙂
Hi Gert,
Mooi project en veel succes gewenst. De kist gaat er steeds beter uitzien en het gaat vast perfect vliegen.
Mocht je belangstelling hebben voor inside info bv trim en wat je kunt verwachten tijdens het vliegen, mail dan gerust.

(Hi Gert,
Nice project and good luck with it. The bird is looking better every time, and will definitely fly perfect.
If you ever need inside information on what to expect while flying, please email me.

I asked him about that Channel crossing and that was definitely one of his highlights !!

Jim Troche, from somewhere…

Great Job so far Gert!
I am really in awe at you’ve accomplished. I was thinking about building an Airdrome Aeroplane but after seeing the amount of time, effort and cost I am thinking better of it. I may just find a little ultra light and rethink my position.
Thank you so much for sharing your build experience with us.

Sorry to have put you off Jim

Mike deLesseps, from the US

Mike is the grandson of Jacques deLesseps, the second person to fly across the English Channel 🙂

Gert, Thanks for the note.

If you wish to use the little drawing I did for Don of the Bleriot, please do so. You are welcome to use it on your web site. I suppose you should ask Don if it’s OK as I did it for him years ago and he owns it.



Wish you all the luck with your Bleriot and would add that’s it’s smart to build it with ailerons instead of warping.

Good job on your web site, I design them for businesses here so I have years of experience and know a good one when I see it.
This is nice, I now have a new un-met friend, they generally turn out well.

Cheers, Lesseps

Jonathan Wilson, Christchurch, New Zealand.

I know Jonathan through work.
Hi Gert,
Firstly – the Bleriot project – wow! I’m impressed. Both an inspiring and gutsy project. Its been a long time since I last flew myself (apart from radio control models) but I’m still a fan of things that fly!
I could not help but spend the last 30 minutes reading through your web site.
Would love to come and have a look one weekend. I think my 13 year old son, Tim, would be interested too – took him to the last Warbirds over Wanaka and he enjoyed it.

Graham Orphan

Hi Gert,I have been taking peeks at your progress – lovely to see it all coming along so well. You have made huge progress on the wings which is excellent to see. Very well done! I just played your Velie run to my wife Jane and she loved the sound of it!
Cheers for now,

Jim Bruton, Connecticut, USA

Hi Gert!
Like you, I am intrigued by Baslee’s full-scale Bleriot and your website is the best promotion he could have. I say this in full support, because you can see so many details of substantial material and engineering, clean design (the rivet holes line up and are in a straight line!), etc. I’ve also wondered about the painting to get a nice “wood” look where desired.
I know you are looking forward to flying it and we are looking forward to that too.
First of all, I love your engine! A radial engine simply sounds like no other. Continued success with your work on it. Second, I like your approach to the radio, keeping it “low profile” when you want it to be. Please chronicle here your work on how to ground it and silence/protect it from any unwanted noise from the engine. I never solved that problem on my Triplane before I sold it. Maybe the Flea- being wooden (or your aluminium, being non-conducting?) will not have this problem.
I like the Rimu wood too. Keep going- you’re almost there! I may be ready to fly nearly the same time as you.
Warmest Regards from a really cold Connecticut, USA
Jim Bruton