Awesome Old 1912 Vlaicu 2 Two Rotor WWI plane – Code 338

This Thing Can Fly !!! Awesome Old 1912 Vlaicu 2 Two Rotor WWI plane - Between 23 and 30 June 1912 Vlaicu flew the A. Vlaicu Nr. II at the Die Internationale Flugwoche at Aspern near Vienna, competing against 42 other aviators including Roland Garros.[1] Vlaicu won prizes totaling 7,500 Austro-Hungarian krone for precision landing, projectile throwing and tight flying around a pole. The competition number of the A. Vlaicu Nr. II was 38, painted on the left wing and stabilizer.

On return from Aspern he performed demonstration flights throughout Transylvania at Arad, Lugoj, Hațeg, Orăștie, Vršac, Alba Iulia, Săliște, Târgu Mureș and Dumbrăveni. The year before he flew at Blaj, Sibiu, Brașov, Iași and Cernăuți.[2]

During the 1912-1913 Balkan Wars, Aurel Vlaicu flew reconnaissance missions south of Danube in the aircraft.

It was destroyed on September 13, 1913 in the crash that cost Aurel Vlaicu his life, when he attempted to make the first flight across the Carpathian Mountains. Parts from the wreckage are preserved in several Romanian museums: the Aurel Vlaicu Memorial House, the National Military Museum in Bucharest and the Aviation Museum in Bucharest.
Vlaicu left Opel in March 1909 and returned to Binţinţi, where, together with his brother, Ion, he built a glider which first flew in the summer of 1909.[7]

Aurel Vlaicu glider in flight, June–July 1909
In October 1909, on the advice of Goga, he moved to the Kingdom of Romania, where with help from Romanian-Transylvanian expatriates, he obtained financial support to build his first powered airplane, following a number of demonstration flights with rubber-powered models in front of Romanian government officials and journalists.[8]

On November 1, 1909 he began the construction of his first powered airplane, the A. Vlaicu Nr. I at the Army Arsenal in Bucharest with funding from the Romanian Ministry of War and on a 300 lei monthly stipend from the Minister of Public Education. A. Vlaicu Nr. I flew for the first time on June 17, 1910 over Cotroceni airfield.[9]

On September 28, 1910, as a part of the fall military exercises, Vlaicu flew his airplane from Slatina to Piatra Olt carrying a message, an early instance of an airplane being used for military purposes.[10]

The construction of A. Vlaicu Nr. II was started in December 1910 on a budget of 16,000 lei and first flew in April 1911. Between 23 and 30 June 1912 Vlaicu competed with it at the International Flight Week in Aspern-Vienna (Die internationale Flugwoche in Wien),[11] against 42 other aviators, including Roland Garros. Vlaicu won prizes totaling 7,500 Austro-Hungarian krone for precision landing, projectile throwing and tight flying around a pole. On this occasion, he was issued the FAI pilot license number 52. On return from Aspern he flew demonstration flights throughout Transylvania.[4]

Giovanni Magnani, Aurel Vlaicu, Ion Ciulu (Vlaicu's mechanic) and a friend in front of A. Vlaicu Nr. II airplane

Aurel Vlaicu at the controls of A Vlaicu II airplane
A. Vlaicu Nr. III was a two-seat monoplane having a fully cowled 80 hp (60 kW) Gnome Gamma engine.[citation needed] Built on contract for the Marconi Company for experiments with aerial radio, at the time of Vlaicu's death it was only partially finished. It was completed by his friends and several short test flights were made during 1914 by military pilot Petre Macavei. Further tests were hindered by the unusual controls. In 1916, during the German occupation of Bucharest, the aircraft was seized and shipped to Germany, and it was last seen in 1942 at an aviation exhibition in Berlin by Romanian military officers, though no mention of it is made in references on the Berlin exhibition
During his short career, Aurel Vlaicu designed and built one glider[citation needed] and three airplanes of his own design.[14]

He perfected his design on rubber band powered models he began experimenting with while a student in Munich.[citation needed]

Vlaicu's three powered airplanes had one central aluminum tubing, the flight controls in front, two propellers, one mounted ahead of the nacelle, and the other to the rear of the wing up high, partially counteracting each other's torque. They employ tricycle-landing gears with independent trailing arm suspension, had brakes on the rear wheel, and were equipped with Gnome rotary engines.[citation needed]

A Vlaicu III airplane - view from above
His airplanes lacked ailerons, relying on just rudder and elevators for control, via a steering wheel mounted on a tiller. The wheel controlled the elevators while sideways motion of the tiller controlled the rudder. The wheel could be temporarily locked with the help of two dowels. The low center of gravity provided by the parasol wing allowed for the lateral stability that this type of control system requires


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