Aurel Vlaicu

Written by Tom Jenkins On November - 3 - 2011 under Airplanes Comments Off on Aurel Vlaicu

In a shy day of spring, Aurel Vlaicu son of Dumitru and Anna from the Bintinti village, near the Orastie town in the Hunedoara County, had finaly reached Munich, expecting to register at the prestigious Polytechnic University. And so the dream of a brilliant young man was beginning to write Roman history in the Aeronautics science. Unfortunately, insufficiently known to generations of today, Aurel Vlaicu didn’t hesitate to pay with his own young life and the right to make his dream come true!

Brave, defiant even, modest, ambitious, dreamy, talented, patriotic, grateful and, above all, creative. Aurel Vlaicu performed the first flight in Romania, with a vehicle heavier than air; it was the tip of all the epithets listed.

As a child he had a temperamental and curious nature, nature that brought him trouble since high school. In 1902 he graduated from high school in Lica Sibiu State, followed by two quarters in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of Budapest’s Polytechnic School. He then enrolled as a volunteer at sea, doing military service in the town of Pula, an Adriatic Sea port, now in Croatia. He then gets his diploma in engineering after finishing the prestigious Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitet Munich.

Immediately after graduation time, he starts working for a short period of time as an engineer for the famous Opel car factory.

However, Aurel Vlaicu was not satisfied. He’s impetuous nature impels him to not accept his flat comfortable destiny of a respected engineer at the Opel plants.

Worked by suppressed thoughts and desires, Aurel Vlaicu returns to his country in 1908. A year later he finishes building the first glider helped by John, his brother, who made several flights with the glider in Bintinti village.

At the urging of his school friend, the poet Octavian Goga, he decides to head over to Bucharest, where in front of an audience of personalities of the time, led by Spiru Haret, he dose some demonstrations with his prototype aircraft.

Supported by the Royal House and the Romanian Army, the ambitious aviation inventor and pioneer of Romanian and the world he starts building at he workshops of the Army Air Arsenal
“Vlaicu I”, the first plane built on Romanian territory.

With this plane Aurel Vlaicu will take off for the first time on June 17, 1910 above the Cotroceni field.

Vlaicu wrote history with his act that placed Romania second in the world after France, in the use of an aircraft for military purposes.

Startled he registers the patent no. 2258 for the so-called “flying machine with the arrow shaped body.”

A year later, Vlaicu engineer builds a second plane, the famous “Vlaicu II”, which he flies in several cities of the kingdom, in major tournaments in which he makes he’s inventions known.

Its success does not stop there, Aurel Vlaicu participated in the war during the Bulgaria campaign, where he performed some aerial observation missions.

In 1913 the English Marconi Company commands Aurel Vlaicu to create a two seated aircraft design and construct it out of metal. The Romanian engineer proceeds to the creation of this project and a few months later he finishes the new plane, which he calls the “Vlaicu III”. The Romanian genius has given such a valuable human invention – “Vlaicu III” was the first fully functional aircraft in the world built of metal!

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