Romanian Military History Forum - Part of Romanian Army in the Second World War Website



  Reply to this topicStart new topicStart Poll

> Traian Vuia - Viata si opera, Life & work
Victor
Posted: August 08, 2013 06:03 am
Quote Post


Admin
Group Icon

Group: Admin
Posts: 4332
Member No.: 3
Joined: February 11, 2003



(IMG:http://imageshack.us/a/img690/2213/u5zd.jpg)

In 2006, we celebrated 100 years from the first take off of a flying machine by using its own propelling system and wheels, which happened on 18 March 1906 at Montesson in France. The aircraft was built by Romanian eng. Traian Vuia

A group of researchers worked hard to write a monograph on the aeronautical activity of Traian Vuia. Both official and private archives were forayed for informations and documents regarding his creations and activity. The effort was finalized through the publishing in 2006 of a monograph entitled "Pioneers of world aviation, Traian Vuia and his epoch"

Afterwards, while researching the life and activity of eng. Henri Coanda, the authors received from a number French colleagues some important documents about the life and activity of Traian Vuia. They identified new documents in Romania and gained access to the French press of the time. The quantity and quality of the newly discovered documents allowed for a renewal of the Traian Vuia subject, which was materialized in a new monograph that covers all his technical activity as well his social and political life.

The authors are : Dan Antoniu, Ioan Buiu, Dan Haditca, Radu Homescu and George Cicos.
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
Florin
Posted: August 09, 2013 03:45 am
Quote Post


General de corp de armata
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1865
Member No.: 17
Joined: June 22, 2003



The inventor Traian Vuia intended that his creation to be also an automobile, not only an airplane, and from memory I can say that he named it the "airplane-automobile".
Some people here may not know that the wings were foldable, and they shrank enough to fulfill the automobile / roadable aircraft purpose.
That would make his vehicle not only the first airplane with wheels in the world, but also the first hybrid airplane-automobile - the first in a long row that evolved into "Terrafugia" of today. (These concepts are also named "flying cars".)

A time ago I tried to input a little bit of information in the Wikipedia page dedicated to the airplane-automobile hybrids (the flying cars) and of course my input was deleted.
Accepting it would mean to accept that Glenn Curtiss, mentioned as the first with his "Curtiss Autoplane" from 1917, was not the first.

This post has been edited by Florin on August 09, 2013 04:15 am
PM
Top
Dénes
Posted: August 09, 2013 08:05 am
Quote Post


Host
Group Icon

Group: Hosts
Posts: 4347
Member No.: 4
Joined: June 17, 2003



There are other controversies, too, related to the aviation pioneers.

Check out the following page, claiming - quite convincingly - that Gustave Whitehead (Weisskopf) did in fact perform the first flight in a heavier-than-air aeroplane (also, the first powered flight and the first one to have wheels, too, etc.):
http://www.gustave-whitehead.com/

Excerpt: he (Whitehead) made history's first manned, powered, controlled, sustained flight in a heavier-than-air aircraft. A photo and other proof exists. As a result, on March 8, 2013, the world's foremost authority on aviation history, "Jane's All the World's Aircraft", formally recognized Gustave Whitehead's claim.

Gen. Dénes

This post has been edited by Dénes on August 10, 2013 06:34 am
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
Tyke
Posted: August 09, 2013 10:30 pm
Quote Post


Fruntas
*

Group: Members
Posts: 95
Member No.: 2193
Joined: July 20, 2008



Surely Whitehead would translate as Weisskopf not Schwarzkopf, as that would be Blackhead.

This post has been edited by Tyke on August 09, 2013 10:30 pm
PMEmail Poster
Top
Florin
Posted: August 10, 2013 04:07 am
Quote Post


General de corp de armata
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1865
Member No.: 17
Joined: June 22, 2003



QUOTE (Dénes @ August 09, 2013 03:05 am)
There are other controversies, too, related to the aviation pioneers.

Check out the following page, claiming - quite convincingly - that Gustave Whitehead (Schwarzkopf) did in fact perform the first flight in a heavier-than-air aeroplane (also, the first powered flight and the first one to have wheels, too, etc.):
http://www.gustave-whitehead.com/

Excerpt: he (Whitehead) made history's first manned, powered, controlled, sustained flight in a heavier-than-air aircraft. A photo and other proof exists. As a result, on March 8, 2013, the world's foremost authority on aviation history, "Jane's All the World's Aircraft", formally recognized Gustave Whitehead's claim.

Gen. Dénes

What surprises me is how all this could be in the shadows for a century. In other words, why there was no more publicity about it – at least in the United States.
The States could still keep the "first in the world" prize, either way.

The matter with proof by photos returns my mind to Traian Vuia. Brazil is so proud because of Santos Dumont – they built there a museum for him. I can understand this pride, but they carefully don’t mention one word about Traian Vuia. We know that Vuia’s plane took off the ground a half of year earlier. And now is where the photos matter: Santos Dumont is standing right near the airplane of Traian Vuia, in a group photo having Vuia in it as well, in at least one photo from the Spring of 1906.

P.S.: In 1977 the Hungarian Postal Service issued a commemorative stamp honoring the memory of Alberto Santos-Dumont.
The stamp shows his portrait and a lighter than air blimp, not the controversial heavier than air aircraft. The stamp is part of a postal series dedicated to "lighter than air".

This post has been edited by Florin on August 10, 2013 04:09 am
PM
Top
Radub
Posted: August 10, 2013 09:04 am
Quote Post


General de corp de armata
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1670
Member No.: 476
Joined: January 23, 2005



Santos-Dumont was already a "superstar" in France at the time of his aeroplane flight because of his extensiveand very successful work in the field of dirigibles. Basically, when he flew his dirigible around the Eiffel Tower in 1901 he was the first to have absolute control, unlimited control, of a flying machine and stay up there for as long as he wanted (unlike gliders). It was a monumental leap forward. It was the first genuine means of air transport. Up to then, balloons could only go up/down and wherever the wind took them. He also did that in front of a large audience and no one could ever deny it happened. That is why his dirigible is on stamps.

The Wright brothers were not recognised as "pioneers of flight" in France at the time (and even today, for somey) for a number of reasons. They appled for a patent referring to means of flight control in 1903 but it was only granted in 1906 (US Pat. 821,393). Up to then they tended to fly in relative secrecy in order to protect their invention. After the four flights in 1903, they did not fly until 1905 when they flew a total of 45 minutes, the longest being 5-minute long. After 1905, they never flew again until 1908, during which time they did not allow anyone to see their machine because they were trying to sell it to the US and British military authorities. Wilbur flew in France for the first time in August 1908, 2 years after Santos-Dumont, when he impressed everyone with the superior manoeuvrability and longer flying-time of their machine (before then, the longest air-time was one minute achieved by Farman in 1907 in a machine designed by Voisin). No other flying machine could even come close to the Wright Brothers' performance, never mind matching it. The French, who boasted the world's first "aero-club" were slapped in the face and did not like it a bit. So, in France, the Wrights are still regarded with scoffs of derision.

There were many who claimed "first powered flight". They may all be correct. ;) The fact of the matter is that for "flight" to be recognised as such, it has to be "repeatable", meaning that the machine should be able to repeat that flight a number of times. Vuia (like the others) was unable to do so. He "flew" but damaged the "flying machine" upon "landing" and was unable to repeat it. Think of it this way: if you jump off a tall building without a parachute, you can only call that "flying" if you can go back and do it again. The Wright Brothers may not have been the "first" to "separate from the ground", but they were certainly the first to be able to do it over and over and over again in a controllable fashion for long periods of time.

One furher argument is made that for their first flights in 1903 the Wright Brothers used a falling-weight catapult therefore it was not a "self-powered" take-off like Vuia's. The truth is that for their first flights in 1903, the Wright Brothers only used a rail to direct the plane during take-off, but no catapult. There is no record or evidence of a catapult (nor does it appear in the photos). The catapult was only introduced for the first time in 1904 during their trials with Flyer II. When Wilbur did his demonstrations in France in 1908, they used catapults for some flights which led the French press to promote the myth that the Wrights' planes could not take-off under their own power (at the time, the French still claimed that "theirs" were the first). This myth was further elaborated in his autobiography "Mes dix milles cerfs volants" by Voisin (who, himself claims was "first" with his 1905 Voisin-Archdeacon machine). Voisin states that for a flight in France, the Wrights' engine failed and had to be replaced with a French-made Bariquand&Marre engine and flew without a catapult, which is proof in itself that the Wrights' engine was too weak unless aided by "French power". But Voisin conveniently forgets to mention that the "French-made" engine was nothing more than the Wrights engine made under licence with the only difference that it used metric rather than imperial measurements.

Vuia was a genius, no doubt about it. This book covers many of his inventions.

Radu

PS By the way, before the usual nazionanists start spuming at the mouth, even though I do not believe Vuia was "first", I am a fan of Vuia. I translated this book into English for Dan.



PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
Florin
Posted: August 10, 2013 03:50 pm
Quote Post


General de corp de armata
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1865
Member No.: 17
Joined: June 22, 2003



QUOTE (Radub @ August 10, 2013 04:04 am)
Santos-Dumont was already a "superstar" in France at the time of his aeroplane flight because of his extensiveand very successful work in the field of dirigibles. Basically, when he flew his dirigible around the Eiffel Tower in 1901 he was the first to have absolute control, unlimited control, of a flying machine and stay up there for as long as he wanted (unlike gliders). It was a monumental leap forward. It was the first genuine means of air transport. Up to then, balloons could only go up/down and wherever the wind took them. He also did that in front of a large audience and no one could ever deny it happened. That is why his dirigible is on stamps.


From memory I write that in 1860 there was an international exhibition in Paris. A French engineer tested a lighter than air blimp or balloon with engine and propeller attached to it. The controlled flight was not outdoors, but in one of the huge halls of the exhibition, having a roof above.
Considering the ingenuity of the American engineers of the XIXth century, I told myself that if they would have noticed this event, they may have applied it during the Civil War. The latter paragraph is only my speculation, of course.
***
Not related to our subject, during the same 1860 Paris exhibition the French engineer Leclanche presented his chemical source of electricity, that during our childhood was still almost unchanged, and today is still widely used in improved versions.

QUOTE (Radub @ August 10, 2013 04:04 am)
There were many who claimed "first powered flight". They may all be correct. ;) The fact of the matter is that for "flight" to be recognised as such, it has to be "repeatable", meaning that the machine should be able to repeat that flight a number of times. Vuia (like the others) was unable to do so. He "flew" but damaged the "flying machine" upon "landing" and was unable to repeat it. Think of it this way: if you jump off a tall building without a parachute, you can only call that "flying" if you can go back and do it again. The Wright Brothers may not have been the "first" to "separate from the ground", but they were certainly the first to be able to do it over and over and over again in a controllable fashion for long periods of time.


In the link presented by Denes you can read that the inventor named Gustave Whitehead repeated his take off performance. In one instance he flew about a half of mile, in another about one mile. It is unbelievable how a person that was noted in 114 newspaper articles to just end fading away from history. Many of the 114 articles targeted his non-powered glidings, but there were sufficient notes about the powered flights as well.

PS: As you know, Vuia's take off achivement was "repeatable". He did it several times. I guess he could continue doing it indefinitely, but there was no sense in endlessly repeating the same thing.
And yes, the length and the height of a "flight" weigh in balance. Here Vuia is a good example, but the same is for the first "flights" of the Wright brothers.
If Gustave Whitehead could really fly a half of mile, then again for one mile, for that moment of time it was spectacular. I guess he failed at the "marketing" chapter.
The Wright brothers were running a successful business, so they knew how to deal with the other side of engineering.

This post has been edited by Florin on August 10, 2013 07:42 pm
PM
Top
Radub
Posted: August 10, 2013 09:06 pm
Quote Post


General de corp de armata
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1670
Member No.: 476
Joined: January 23, 2005



Witehead is a divisive subject. All that had to be said about him was told in great detail by his supporters, so there is little to be gained here by discussing it futher. Google has it covered.

Vuia tried many times to fly but he only achieved a few "hops". These are described in good detail in the book.

Radu
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
Florin
Posted: August 11, 2013 12:19 am
Quote Post


General de corp de armata
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1865
Member No.: 17
Joined: June 22, 2003



QUOTE (Radub @ August 10, 2013 04:06 pm)
......

Vuia tried many times to fly but he only achieved a few "hops". These are described in good detail in the book.

Radu

The experiments of the Wright brothers in their first few years of trials were also "hops".
So, as businessmen running a successful business, they had the material backup to continue until they produced something better.

Money matter a lot ... Alberto Santos-Dumont was the son of a rich coffee plantation owner, and the father of Henri Coanda was not only occasionally member of the Romanian government of that time, but he also could afford to sell land in order to sustain his son's life and experiments.
What I guess it really happened with Vuia is the disappointment that while no official came to assist at his tests, a half of year later members of the French Academy attended the tests of Alberto Santos-Dumont and hailed him as hero. This kind of disappointment is sufficient to abandon an idea and the work around it.
PM
Top
Radub
Posted: August 11, 2013 08:30 am
Quote Post


General de corp de armata
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1670
Member No.: 476
Joined: January 23, 2005



The Wright Brothers did things differently. They first flew gliders to perfect the means of control. These gliders were capable of extended/sustained controllable flight. When they fitted their flying machine with an engine, they carried out a number of attempts. The first attempt was on 14 December 1903 ended up with the plane ploughing into the ground with minor damage to the plane, mostly due to pilot error (over-correction of elevator) but also weather. They attempted again on 17 December and this time the plane flown by Wilbur flew for 12 seconds a distance of about 40 metres. Wilbur flew again three more times on the same day and on his fourth flight he flew for 59 seconds across 250 metres. The Wright Brothers had no official support. They were not rich, they had a bicycle shop. In fact, they tried to sell their plane to the US and British governments and were flatly refused for five years. They eventually signed a contract with the US War Department in 1908.

It is wrong, utterrly wrong, to claim that the "authorities" did not support Vuia - saying so actually does a deservice to Vuia. Representatives of Aero-club De France, Mr. Archdeacon (president of the sporting commission of the Aero-club), Mr. Surcouf (general secretary of the Aero-club) and Santos-Dumond (proeminent member of the Aero-club, certified aviation "superstar") were present at Vuia's attempts. There are many beautiful photos of his machine (get Dan Antoniu's book, it has great photos) and that proves that a photographer was present. The attempts were published extensively and regularly (at least 14 articles) in l'Aerophile, the official journal of the Aero-club. He had powerful and influential friends, rich supporters (again, read Dan Antoniu's book, you willl be surprised). The truth is that he just did not do enough to convince that he had a viable flying machine. He only managed short hops of a few metres, the longest of which was 12 metres.
Santos-Dumond was able to fly 25 metres and this feat was photographed. Then he repeated it. That is all the difference between Vuia and him: length and repeatability of flight. Technically, they were both "foreigners", so there could be no nationalist slant here.

Radu
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
Florin
Posted: August 11, 2013 05:13 pm
Quote Post


General de corp de armata
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1865
Member No.: 17
Joined: June 22, 2003



Some sources indicate the Wright brothers as "bicycle manufacturers". If the only thing they had was a "bicycle shop" (and you meant "bicycle repair shop"), I agree that this is a different story.
If I remember right, Louis Blériot also had a business related to bicycles.
The very beginning of aviation was the magic moment when a technical background in bicycles was also a useful background for aircraft design ! :P

This post has been edited by Florin on August 11, 2013 05:13 pm
PM
Top
Radub
Posted: August 11, 2013 09:28 pm
Quote Post


General de corp de armata
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1670
Member No.: 476
Joined: January 23, 2005



The Wright Brothers were first in the printing business. They opened Wright Cycle Company, a repair and sales shop in 1892 but kept the printing press (a machine of their own design) going. They began manufacturing cycles in 1896. In the book "The Wright Brothers" by Tom Crouch and Peter Jakab (great book) they are described as "not getting rich, but they were prosperous, and able to begin building a modest bank account". More importantly, access to a fully-featured workshop allowed them to innovate and test their designs. They were prolific and inventive.
The above-mentioned book is thick and rich in data. For a more concise history of the Wright Brothers I recommend the book "The Wright Brothers" by G.H. Gibbs Smith.

I must say that Dan Antoniu created an equally-beautiful book on Vuia, a must for anyone interested in early aviation.

Radu
PMEmail PosterUsers Website
Top
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

Topic Options Reply to this topicStart new topicStart Poll

 






[ Script Execution time: 0.0358 ]   [ 14 queries used ]   [ GZIP Enabled ]