Aurel Vlaicu (1882-1913)

Aurel Vlaicu

1882 On the 19th of November, Aurel Vlaicu was born within a family of rich peasant Vlaicu, at Bintinti, Hunedoara County (a village that is called Aurel Vlaicu these days). He was a Romanian engineer, inventor, airplane constructor and early pilot.

He attended primary school in that village and secondary studies at Orastie and Sibiu.

1902 After passing the final exam, he attended two trimesters of Mechanic Faculty in Budapest then he was transferred at Polytechnic in Munchen. He took regularly his exams.

1907 He graduated Polytechnic in Munchen.

1908 This year he had already been an engineer for an Opel cars factory. He hoped that the powerful automotive concern would be interested in building aircrafts. His offers regarding this were refused so that, at the end of the year, he returned to his native village. On his own he built a glider that helped him fly many times to Orastie and Bintinti.

1910 Supported by ASTRA Association, he came to Bucharest, where at military Arsenal, he built Vlaicu I monoplane.

Romanian aeroplane invented and piloted by Aurel Vlaicu flew the first time on Friday, 4th of June 1910.

This machine had a double airscrew and took off from the ground after a run shorter than 50 metres. It climbed the slope to 40 degrees and had a airspeed of about 120km/h. It executed precisely cornering, both to the right and to the left side while foreign aircrafts did only left turns. It had only one wing while the aeroplanes at that time owned two or three overlapping wings.

1913 He started to do Vlaicu III prototype. This was the first airplane in the world with metal fuselage and with airfoil; the construction of this plane was finished by two of his partners.

On the 13th of September, trying to fly over Carpathians, from Bucharest to Brasov, Aurel Vlaicu died because Vlaicu II aircraft crashed on the Southern field of Banesti, Prahova County.

The causes of that deadly plane crash have not been elucidated until now: technical malfunction or heart attack.

1914 His friends, Magnani and Silisteanu, finished the building of Vlaicu III and, helped by pilot Peter Macavei, performed some short flights. At that time authorities forbade the attempts.

1916 During autumn, under German occupation, the plane was delivered to Berlin. It was seen for the last time in 1940.