Traian Vuia

Traian Vuia's plane


Traian Vuia (1872-1950) Romanian inventor, designed and flew the world's first aircraft to use flight control instruments.


1872: Traian Vuia is born on the 17th of August in a village known as Surducul Mic, Timis County. Today this village bears the inventor's name: Traian Vuia.
1878: Vuia goes to primary school in his village, after which he leaves the village for the town of Lugoj (also in the Timis County).
1892: He graduates the high school in this town, the first among all graduates that year. As a high-school student he was particularly interested in Mathematics, Physics and Technics.
1892: He enrolls at the Polytechnical University of Budapest, School of Mechanics
1893: Because of financial problems, he joins the Faculty of Law in Budapest. Despite this change he continues to study by himself those technical problems, which he is particularly interested in, the most important one being the problem of flight.
1901: The Faculty of Law in Budapest awards him the Ph.D. degree in Law.
1902: Pushed by his passion for achieving mechanical flight, he goes to Paris in 1902, to study the construction of heavier -than -air aeroplanes.
1903: Submits his project of an "airplane-car" to the Science Academy of Paris on February 16. In this project he demonstrates the possibility of mechanical flight with a machine that has a density greater than that of the air. The special Commission of Aeronautics of the Science Academy of Paris considered Vuia's project a utopia. They rejected it, adding the comments: "The problem of flight with a machine which weights more than air can not be solved and it is a only a dream".
1903: Until 1905 he designs and constructs a monoplane with a steel tubular frame and rain-proof flax wings, stretched over a metallic frame and bat-wing like shaped, having a carbonic anhydride engine, a single propeller and a undercarriage on pneummatic wheels. This flying machine was called "Traian Vuia 1". One of the difficult problems solved by Vuia was to build an engine that could develop a propulsion force to assure the autonomous taking off. The first airplane engine appeared in 1903, built by Wright brothers. Prof. Langley used the second one for his airplane, built by Charles Manly, he tried to fly with it two times in 1903 but he failed (this engine can be seen in Washington, at "National Air and Space Museum"). The third engine was Vuia's. It was the second engine in the world, which worked on a flying machine (Vuia's engine can be seen in Paris, at "Air Museum"; a copy of it is in Bucharest, at "Central Military Museum").
1905: "Vuia 1" airplane is completely built in December
1906: On the 18th of March, at Montesson, Traian Vuia flies this monoplane, to mark the first flight in the world exclusively taken based only on the flying control instruments.
1918: Still preoccupied with solving the mechanical flight problems, he designs and constructs two prototypes of gyroplanes.
1925: He made an original steam generator with unique forced circulation, high steam compression and temperature, and high electrothermal efficiency.
- During World War II Traian Vuia was President of the Romanian National Front of the Antifascist Fighters in France.

He later declared: "the creation of airplane was completely finished in 1906. After that the constructors industrialized the aviation, of course a very important mission but it cannot be confounded with the creation of the new machine. On the other hand it is clear that the airplane was created in France, despite of the fact that it is usually claimed that Wright brothers created the aviation. Even when they came in France, in 1908, they used the same procedure for taking off, which implied a non-autonomous flight. Wright brothers adopted the new style of taking off later. This should be repeated because many forgot it" (Traian Vuia, "Memories", 1955).