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> The beginnings of the Romanian air force
Florin
Posted: October 04, 2004 01:39 am
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The airplane designed, built and tested in flight by Aurel Vlaicu

This post has been edited by Florin on October 05, 2004 12:40 am

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Florin
Posted: October 04, 2004 01:59 am
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Translation:

THE FIRST KILOMETER PERFORMED BY VLAICU

The newspapers dated Saturday, July 21st, 1910 announced the following:
“The Romanian aviator, the young engineer Aurel Vlaicu, performed yesterday morning a very successful flight. Mr. Vlaicu started his tests at 7:30 AM. After 3 little flights at low level and along 3-400 meters, he set the motor at 400 revolutions per minute and he ascended, with a perfect stability, to over fifteen meters in height, performing a distance of almost 300 meters.
All assistants, among them many officers from the regiments camped at Cotroceni, warmly congratulated the young aviator.
This is the first kilometer performed by a fellow countryman, with an airplane invented and built in Romania”.

This post has been edited by Florin on October 04, 2004 01:59 am

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Florin
Posted: October 04, 2004 02:17 am
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Vlaicu on the field of Cotroceni, in 1913, among a group of friends (engineer Silisteanu, Magnani, etc.) Vlaicu's brother is sitting on grass in front him.

Photography from: Realitatea Ilustrata (The Illustrated Reality), year XIII, no. 646, 6th of June, 1939

This post has been edited by Florin on October 15, 2004 11:43 pm

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Florin
Posted: October 04, 2004 02:36 am
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Translation:

THE FIRST SACRIFICES...

Year 1912 brought the first sacrifice: at 20th of April, 1912, Lieutenant Caranda Gheorghe fell with his airplane and died.
The others, counted among the first sacrifices of the Romanian aviation - meaning before the engagement in the war of 1916, are: Vlaicu Aurel, at 31st of August, 1913; Sub-Lieutenant Negel Gheorghe at 1st of September, 1913; Sub-Lieutenants Mihail Berceanu at 16th of July, 1915 and Gaina Nicolae at 6th of March of the same year; mechanic Liztchen Stefan at 18th of December, 1915, and Captain Campineanu Stefan on 15th of May, 1916.

Source: Realitatea Ilustrata (The Illustrated Reality), year XIII, no. 646, 6th of June, 1939

This post has been edited by Florin on October 04, 2004 02:46 am

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Victor
Posted: October 04, 2004 07:36 pm
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GHeorghe Caranda fell with his Bristol Coanda (that was what he was flying IIRC) near Cotroceni, on the present-day Iuliu Maniu Boulevard. There is a small monument in his honor right next to the gate of the Electronics and Communications Faculty. Unfortunately, unlike the one of Major Panait Donici, the first CO of the Romanian Engineer Battalion and foudner of the Romanian Engineer Corps, which lies just 30 m away, it hasn't been restored and embelished. There are cars parking up to 20 cm of the monument and the ground around it is barren. Fortunately, from what I heard, his tomb in Iasi is better taken care of.
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Florin
Posted: October 06, 2004 04:57 am
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Photography from: Realitatea Ilustrata (The Illustrated Reality), year XIII, no. 646, 6th of June, 1939
Translation of text under photo:

In year 1909, in Bucharest, in Christmas Street, there was a workshop to build airplanes, belonging to Mr. Henry August. On the field from Pantelimon, the glider manufactured by him is climbing to 7-8 meters in height. How? Very simple: Mr. August sit at the steering wheel of the automobile on which the glider is tied with a cable. In the glider his wife is "pilot"... Daring attitude, no joke!


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Florin
Posted: October 08, 2004 02:10 am
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Translation of text under photo:

Mr. Henry August – about whom we mentioned before – worked with the same diligence also in 1911, in his workshop from Christmas Street. All the time he built airplanes. Here he is, helped with plenty of zeal by Costica Orasanu, our nice colleague journalist, who in those times was office colleague with Mr. August.



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Carol I
Posted: October 14, 2004 04:30 pm
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Thank you Florin for this nice and interesting collection of posts.
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Florin
Posted: October 15, 2004 04:03 am
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Translation:

THE WORKSHOP FROM CHRISTMAS STREET

In 1909, in Bucharest, on Christmas Street No.3, there was a workshop were first models were built, and then even airplanes. The owner of the workshop, and a constructor in the same time, was Mr. Henry August. He was clerk at the General Medical Division of the Ministry of the Interior, and a man with passion for the science of flight.
He succeeded to build a glider which performed some flights, on the field of Pantelimon. The apparatus was pulled by an automobile driven by Mr. August, and "pilot", his wife.
At 24th of May, 1909, he lectured a conference in the Athenaeum, about: "Aerial navigation, aerostats, zeppelins/blimps and airplanes".
In 1910 he got his pilot license at Issy les Moulineaux.

This post has been edited by Florin on October 15, 2004 04:06 am

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Florin
Posted: October 15, 2004 04:33 am
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Translation:

AN UNLUCKY STUDENT-PILOT

Also in 1909, the young man from Bucharest, Paul Komornicki leaves for Germany. There, at Iohannistal (Berlin), he makes experiments on an apparatus system "Schubert", but soon he moves to France where, at Issy les Moulineaux, followes the School of Flight.
But he suffers a serious accident and he is abandoning for ever. Today, he is valuable director of the Sports Division of the "Romanian Book" (...publishing house).

From: Realitatea Ilustrata (The Illustrated Reality), year XIII, no. 646, 6th of June, 1939

This post has been edited by Florin on October 15, 2004 04:35 am

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Florin
Posted: October 15, 2004 04:57 am
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Translation:

BLERIOT IN BUCHAREST

Another important aviation event in Romania during the year 1909 is the flight of Bleriot at the Bucharest Hippodrome. The international famous French aviator performed a tour through Europe, after his famous flight over the Channel (...between United Kingdom and France).

1910, YEAR RICH IN EVENTS

But year 1910 is full of remarkable events.
In spring, the French pilot Georges Osmos, in a "Farman" airplane, having as passenger Mrs. Camarasescu (the first woman in Romania who was flying) makes a round tour Bucharest - Ploesti and back. Then he performed demonstrations at Braila and Galati.

This post has been edited by Florin on October 15, 2004 04:59 am

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Florin
Posted: October 16, 2004 01:30 am
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After 1910, YEAR RICH IN EVENTS, started in the immediately previous post, followed THE FIRST KILOMETER PERFORMED BY VLAICU, already translated under this topic.
And then the text continues:

THE AIRPORT FROM CHITILA

In April 1910, at Chitila, a lawyer from Braila, Mihail Cerkez, a man with progressive views and fascinated by the science of aviation, is founding an airport. Cerkez succeeded to make partners at his association some more friends from Braila: Panas, Gigi Petcu, Iancu Mavrodin, Stefan Cerchez, etc. The airport was one of the best equipped for that era, as seen in the photos we show here.
Cerchez brought the first "Farman" airplanes, one "Wilbur Wright" airplane (without wheels, with pillar) and one "Santos Dumont".
In August everything was ready and in the day of 15 took place the inauguration of the first airport in Romania.
In the presentation of that moment - appeared in the newspaper "The morning" (Dimineata) - it was mentioned, among others, the following regarding the great event:
"Around 6:30 AM, after the present persons visited the hangars were the airplanes are sheltered, the aviation experiences started.
Mr. Molla, a French pilot, flied with a Farman biplane. The first testing flight was a complete success. But the second flight exceeded all expectations.
Immediately after the motor was set to run, the airplane took off reaching a high altitude, flying for about 15 minutes.
The airplane disappeared beyond the horizon and then returned making the tour of the airport. As in the first flight, the aviator landed very smoothly on the starting point.
This flight turned into enthusiasts the present persons and the pilot Molla was in the center of a warm show of esteem and friendliness.
Champagne and sandwiches were served. Toasts were said for the progress of aviation, for the initiator of the first Romanian airport, Mr. Cerkez, and for mass-media.
Then Mr. Molla and the French mechanics hired for the airport became the object of a generous show of appreciation.
The celebration ended at 7:30 PM, when the people present returned to the capital.
Starting with today, the airport is accessible to the public.
The Farman biplane used yesterday by the pilot Molla is built in the workshops belonging to the new Romanian airport".

We have to add that Molla was the first aviator flying over Bucharest.

***end of translation***

Note 1: Vlaicu performed his first flight 3 weeks earlier, at Saturday, July 21st, 1910, at Cotroceni (see a previous post). Maybe because he did not exceed the limits of the Cotroceni fields, the comment in 1939 says that "Molla was the first aviator flying over Bucharest".

Note 2: In the text above is mentioned one "Wilbur Wright" airplane (without wheels, with pillar). The pillar is the system with the heavy weight of few thousands kilograms / pounds, which during its dropping ensured a huge starting pull to the Wilbur Wright airplane. Without that exterior mechanical help, the Wilbur Wright airplane was a sitting duck, as proved by the reenactment performed during last Autumn/Fall (2003) in the United States.
The test flight performed by Traian Vuia with the plane designed and built by him, in March 1906 at Paris and mentioned by some French reporters, witnesses of the event, in their newspapers, was the first time when an airplane with motor took off using just its own motor, and no exterior mechanical help. Moreover, Vuia's plane had wheels, and not a guiding rail as in the case of the Wright plane. The wings in Vuia's plane were foldable, because the inventor wanted to use it also as an automobile - a daring concept even today. For any of you who may ask What was so important if it lifted itself, or with exterior help?: The motors at the eve of 20th century had such a poor power to weight ratio, that even an institution as the French Academy mentioned officially that an airplane with motor cannot leave the ground. After Vuia's test flights, in March and the following months, infirmed this, the members of the French Academy witnessed few months later, and gave the official blessing, to the flight of Santos-Dumont's plane, inspired after the one did by Vuia.

And now, returning to the airport started at Chitila by Mr. Mihail Cerkez and his friends from Braila... The explanation under photo is: "The first "H. Farman" airplane built in the workshops from Chitila. It was flying excellently."

This post has been edited by Florin on October 16, 2004 08:20 pm

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Florin
Posted: October 16, 2004 05:37 am
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Translation:

The Royal Parlor - organized smart enough and with sufficient taste - of the airport from Chitila.

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Florin
Posted: October 17, 2004 12:22 am
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Translation from: Realitatea Ilustrata (The Illustrated Reality), year XIII, no. 646, 6th of June, 1939

"STUDENTS" WHO LEARN BY THEMSELVES...

"The piloting school" from Chitila could be subject of fun.
First of all, "the teacher", the French mechanic Viallard, willing to show to "the students" - few young officers, how to fly, took place in the apparatus and... he fell. The airplane was crushed, and Viallard had his legs broken! The poor man became crippled for the rest of his life. He is still living in our country, working for the I. A. R. Plant in Brasov.
Facing this situation, the students were compelled to learn to fly by themselves.
And they succeeded, after attempts lasting few days, becoming the excellent pilots to be later renown: Stefan Protopopescu – defunct, Negrescu – present day general, Poly Vacas, Serban Cantacuzino etc.

This post has been edited by Florin on October 17, 2004 12:25 am

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Florin
Posted: October 17, 2004 12:41 am
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Translation:

1913: An accident on the Baneasa airport. In those days, this was the look of the "Bleriot" planes...

This post has been edited by Florin on October 17, 2004 12:42 am

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