(29 August 1872, Surducul Mic-Timis - 3 Septembrie 1950, Bucharest)
Aviation Pioneer
Inventor of the first airplanes with their own take off systems,
propulsion units and landing gear
Text courtesy of Mihai Radu

     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
Photo courtesy of Mihai Radu
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.
Text courtesy of Mihai Radu

Vuia 1906
Vuia preparing for a flight in Spring of 1906 - to the right is Santos Dumont
Photo courtesy of Aurelian Simionescu, 11-4-04

Vuia 2 With Unfolded Wings, 1907
Photo courtesy of Jean-Pierre Lauwers

Vuia 2 With Folded Wings, May, 1907
from the original Post Card
Photo courtesy of Jean-Pierre Lauwers
  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.
Text courtesy of Mihai Radu
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.
from The Very Earliest Early Birds
by Ernest Jones

Vuia 1918
Vuia I helicopter built in 1918
Photo courtesy of Aurelian Simionescu, 11-4-04
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.
Text courtesy of Mihai Radu

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.
Text courtesy of Mihai Radu

     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.

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