Places of interest11 September 2023

Henri Coanda - a Romanian inventor who built the first jet aircraft in the world

"Coandă 1910", "Lenticular Aerodyne", "Coandă 1916" are just some of the projects of the man who was the inventor Coandă Effect

Coandă 1910 by Henri Coandă

Coandă 1910 by Henri Coandă

In 1910, it was presented the public for the first time during the „International Aeronautics Exhibition” in Paris, a "jet aircraft", a red airplane, with two double wings, a single place, but without propellers. That was the airplane „Coandă 1910” built by the Romanian inventor Henri Coandă.

This prototype has been seen at the beginning with a lot of skepticism because it was hard to believe in those days, that an aircraft could fly without propellers. On 16 December 1910 the plane piloted by Henri Coandă himself is tested on a field near Paris. Due to lack of experience in piloting the aircraft, Coandă lost the control of the aircraft and crashed. During this test it is found the phenomenon that will bear his name, namely the "Coandă Effect".

Henri Coandă was born in Bucharest in 1886, son of Constantin Coandă, a former Prime Minister of Romania and Aida Danet, daughter of a prominent French doctor. Although he has been driven to a military career, along the way it turns out that his genius was heading to a completely different direction. He studied in Germany and in Belgium and graduated the „Superior School of Aeronautics and Construction” in France.

Between 1911-1914, he started working as technical director at the „Aviation Factories” in Bristol, England. Here there were built several successful aircrafts with propeller after the Romanian inventor's drawings. Then he returned to France, where he drew and built three different aircraft models with propellers, with two propellers mounted near the tail. Through these models there is also the model „Coandă 1916”.

In 1970 he became a member of the „Romanian Academy” and in 1972 he died leaving behind some of the most important inventions created by Romanians, but also some of the most interesting unfinished projects.

„The disc aircraft” and other less known inventions designed by Henri Coanda

„The disc aircraft” of Coandă, technically known as the "lenticular aerodyne" with a propulsion system based on the „Coandă Effect” was conceived around the year 1930. In 1932, the first experimental prototype flew to Paris, continuing to experiment till 1956 but due to lack of interest from the investors the experiments were stopped.

The last aerodyne project, published in 1970, was executed in cooperation with USA. It was a "four flying discs" system supporting a fuselage. This device has never flown, at least not officially, but there were all kinds of speculation associated with the subject of UFO’s.

Another unfinished project of the Romanian engineer, this time from another area of ​​research, is the „seawater desalination”, that transforms the seawater into drinking water using a complex system powered by solar energy. Henri Coandă also designed a „building of the future”, an amazing architectural idea, a colossal pyramid, called by him the "cruciform building."

Nowadays in Romania, the concepts of Coandă concepts and everything related to aeronautics are studied by a group of engineers and researchers who have formed the „Romanian Association of Cosmonautics and Aeronautics” (ARCA).

Elena Radu




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