Traian I. Vuia – Inventor of the first airplanes Traian Vuia ( 29 August 1872, Surducul Mic-Timis – 3 Septembrie 1950, Bucharest-Romania )
Inventor of the first airplanes with their own take off systems,
propulsion units and landing gear
Traian Vuia graduated from the Public College of Lugoj, in 1892. His advanced studies were in Budapest, at the Polytechnic School, where he received his engineering diploma. He continued his studies with the Law Faculty, being awarded the degree of Doctor of Judicial Sciences in 1901, his thesis being „Military and Industry, State and Contract regime.” In 1902, he was in Paris, where he studied mechanical flight and presented to Science Academics a project of his own invention, „Airplane-automobile design”, on February 16, 1903. By August 17, 1903 he had received the French patent
number 332.106 for his airplane-automobile.
Text courtesy of Mihai Radu
Airplane Vuia I – „Liliacul”, 1906 Paris
First Flight in Vuia 1
On March 18, 1906 he made his famous flight with „Vuia 1” plane, at Montesson.
As an aviation pioneer, he was the first that conceived and flew a machine heavier that air – „Vuia 1” – using for take off and landing its own on board devices: the engine and the landing gear with wheels. He also applied for the first time the wing with in-flight variable incidence, he conceived and used at his plane the principle of a single tractive propeller and the folding wings solution.
In August 1906, he built the airplane „Vuia 1 bis” for experimental purposes.
Vuia Replica :
‘I am not sure, but the replica might be the one that used to be on display on Otopeni, (renamed Henri Coanda), airport, next to a replica of the Vlaicu II airplane.
Last year, 2006, was the centennial of Vuia’s first flight, and the replica was taken on an itinerary exposition throughout Romania and abroad.”
Vuia preparing for a flight in Spring of 1906 – to the right is Santos Dumont
Vuia 2 With Unfolded Wings, 1907
Vuia 2 With Folded Wings, May, 1907
from the original Post Card
The plane „Vuia 2”, built in 1907, with superior performances, powered by an Antoinette engine of 25 HP, was exposed in the first Aeronautical Showroom from Paris.
by Ernest Jones
March 18, 1906—Despite the credit generally given Santos Dumont, it would appear that Vuia was the first beside the Wrights to take off with a power airplane.
After some days of trials at Sartrouville, beginning March 2, 1906, a flight of about 12m. was made on March 18.
The machine was a miniature tractor monoplane, wings arched laterally, rudder immediately to rear of chassis, 25 h.p. carbonic-acid gas engine. No appreciable flights were made, however, until August 12, 1906. After changes in the machine (Viua II), and a rear horizontal stabilizer added, a flight of 8-10m. was made at Montagny, June 21. Other flights were as follows:
July 19—20m., Montagny
August 19—24m., Montagny
October 7-14—4m., Issy
January 26, 1907—–m., Bagatelle
March 2, 1907—4-10m., Bagatelle
March9-27—Running on ground and up to 3-4m.
April 1907—Machine modified and Antonoinette 24 h.p. engine installed. This was a tractor monoplane with folding wings of steel tube ribs, rudder aft hinged to chassis, fixed horizontal stabilizer aft on outrigger and an elevator further aft.
July 5, 1907—Flew 20m. and crashed at Bagatelle.
Vuia never attained further prominence in aeronautics, and made no further flights.
Vuia I helicopter built in 1918
Traian Vuia, Inventor
Between 1918 and 1921 he built two experimental helicopters, on aerodrome of Juvissy and Issy-les-Moulineaux, contributing to the early vertical flight.
Another invention was his vapor generator by internal and catalytic combustion, capable to provide high-pressure (100-120 atm) gas instead of 10 atm gas pressure of the other similar contemporary machines. This invention is now used in all thermic powerplants.
Traian Vuia and one of his partners, Emmanuel
Yvonneau, patented in France, several types of gas generators (patents no: 661254/1928; 680567/1928; 740226/1932).
He published several articles about his inventions:
„Projet d’aeroplan-automobil” in „Compte Rendus de l’Academie de science” CXXXIV, Paris 1903;
„Improved Airplane Motor”, London 1904; „Vertical flight”, Bucharest 1922, etc.
Traian Vuia, Honors
Statesman and patriot, he established the „National Committee of Romanians from Transylvania” on April 30, 1918. The Committee honored him as president.
On May 27, 1922 he was chosen as Member of Honor in the Romanian Academics.
Some 84 years after his famous flight on March 18, 1906, the city of Montesson, France installed a memorial plaque in his name, named a local square after him and installed a small statue to honor him in the City Hall.
Traian Vuia, mentioned at the Smithsonian, flew his plane for the first time on March 18, 1906 (Santos Dumont flew his plane 6 months later, and was aware of Vuia’s attempts and of the fact that he is using a 4-wheel landing gear). We Romanians consider Vuia to be the first one who took off using the airplane’s own energy source.
ONLINE RESOURCES – 1
If you search for „Traian Vuia +aviation”, using the Google search engine, (11-4-04), you will find about 600 links! Among the most helpful are the following.
TRAIAN VUIA – ARCHIVES-Romanian Academy Library
This very helpful website was suggested to me by Dan Hadirca. (5-22-05) He has assembled a revue of the most important incidents in Vuia’s life and career in a most readable manner. In addition to the summary on the homepage, there are numerous links to such important resources as: „Traian Vuia memorial to the French Academy of Science”, „Plans of the motorcar airplane”, „The letter of Traian Vuia to the l’Aerophil from july, 8 1906”, „The demonstration of the Wright Brothers from 1908, France „, „Plans of the Vuia Helicopter”, and several others. Each of these sections is extensive and comprehensive in its coverage and represents a priceless resource for the student of Vuia’s life and career. You can access the page by clicking on the title above
On this splendid website you will find a comprehensive story of his life and career, along with several important photographs. You can access the site by clicking on the title above.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
This is another very helpful website which offers a detailed story of his career. I displays several a nice photo of him in his „flying machine”. You can access the site by clicking on the title above.
If time permits, you find this website to offer a comprehensive and fascinating biography of Traian Vuia including much information on his aeroplanes. You can access the site by clicking on the title above.
ONLINE RESOURCES – 2
If you search for „Trajan Vuia +aviation”, using the Google search engine, (12-8-04), you will find about 119 links! Preeminent among the many helpful is the following.
The Pioneers : An Anthology : Trajan Vuia (1872-1950)
On this splendid website of Dr. Russell Naughton, you will find a comprehensive story of his life and career, along with numerous important photographs. You can access the site by clicking on the title above.
If you are not already familiar with this very valuable resource, I invite you to go to the homepage and sample a few of the many offerings.
1920 Patent: US1347424 „Propelling, tractive, and supporting apparatus”
This link was suggested by Aurelian Simionescu and leads to a copy of the original application for a patent by Trajan Vuia. You will find drawings of the propellers which he hoped to patent. You can access the page by clicking on the title above.
1922 Patent: US1423636″Flying machine ”
This link was also suggested by Aurelian Simionescu and leads to a copy of the original application for a patent by Trajan Vuia.. You will find several drawings of a helicopter which he had invented. You can access the page by clicking on the title above.