Vlaicu 3, 1913
Photo courtesy of Mihai Radu
       His greatest ambition was to be the first to fly over the Carpathian Mountains. That's why in 1913, he started to build a new plane, the Vlaicu 3. It was planned to be built entirely of metal, the idea itself being remarkable for the time. The first all metal planes only appeared much later. During that project, he learned that a foreign pilot intended to make the same flight. So on September 13, 1913, Vlaicu took off near Bucharest in the Vlaicu 2. Heading towards the mountains, he hoped to make the crossing in a Romanian airplane before the other pilot. Unfortunately, his precious dream was not to be realized. Over the village Banesti, near Campina town, his plane crashed and he was killed.
     A monument was established there to commemorate forever the courage and the tragic end of Aurel Vlaicu.
Text courtesy of Mihai Radu

Vlaicu 3
One of the two VLAICU 3 airplanes ordered by Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Company, and completed after Vlaicu's death by his friends G. Magnani and C. Silisteanu in the spring of 1914.
Photo courtesy of Aurelian Simionescu, 11-4-04

via email from Aurelian Simionescu, 11-4-04
     It was unfortunate that Aurel Vlaicu died at the peak of his career (he was only 31). His last model, Vlaicu 3, was ordered by a British company and the agreement was to build 100 airplanes in a factory in the UK. Nobody knows for sure the cause of his death. Some say that he had a kidney stroke. Others say that he was sabotaged and one of his control wires was filed and broke during flight.

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