A Vlaicu II

The A Vlaicu II was the second powered airplane designed and built by Aurel Vlaicu.

A Vlaicu II
A Vlaicu II 05
Role Monoplane
Manufacturer Arts and Crafts School in Bucharest
Designer Aurel Vlaicu
First flight April, 1911
Number built 1
Unit cost
16,000 lei
Developed from A Vlaicu I

Design and development

The construction of A. Vlaicu Nr. II was started in December 1910 at the Școala de Arte și Meserii (Arts and Crafts School) in Bucharest, on a budget of 16,000 lei. It was an improved version of Vlaicu's earlier airplane, the A. Vlaicu Nr. I.

The A. Vlaicu Nr. II first flew in April 1911 on Cotroceni airfield in Bucharest.

Operational history

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.

Modern replicas

Vlaicu II replica
A Vlaicu II modern day replica.

Between 2004 and 2008 a replica of the A Vlaicu II was built by Fundaţia Aerospaţială Română and Romaero in Bucharest on a budget of approximately 200,000 EUR. The airplane uses a 100 hp contemporary engine and modern materials, and has its controls modified compared to the original airplane. It was displayed at various commemorative events. In 2009 it won a bronze medal at the World Air Games (WAG) in Turin. As of 2014 the airplane has not been tested in flight.

Other scale models have been built during the last 50 years by amateurs and are on display at various Romanian museums.

Specifications (Military)

Aurel Vlaicu2 Silhouettes

Data from [3]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 11.2 m (36 ft 9 in)
  • Wingspan: 10 m (32 ft 10 in)
  • Height: 4.2 m (13 ft 9 in)
  • Wing area: 30 m2 (320 sq ft)
  • Gross weight: 300 kg (661 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Gnome Omega air-cooled rotary piston engine, 37 kW (50 hp)
  • Propellers: (2 coaxial, counter-rotating) 2-bladed Magnani/Garuda, 2.4 m (7 ft 10 in) diameter

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 110 km/h (68 mph; 59 kn)
  • Service ceiling: 1,000 m (3,300 ft)

See also

References

  1. ^ Wiener Bilder, 30. Juni 1912
  2. ^ Gheorghiu, Constantin C. (1960). Aurel Vlaicu, un precursor al aviaţiei româneşti. Bucharest: Editura Tehnică.
  3. ^ Gugju, Ion; Gheorghe Iacobescu; Ovidiu Ionescu. Romanian Aeronautical Constructions 1905 - 1974. Brasov.
A Vlaicu I

The A Vlaicu I was the first powered airplane built by Aurel Vlaicu.

A Vlaicu III

The A Vlaicu III was the world's first metal-built aircraft , designed and built in Romania prior to World War I. It was the third powered aircraft designed by pioneering Romanian aviator Aurel Vlaicu.

Arms industry in Romania

Before 1989, Romania was among the top ten arms exporters in the world, however its arms industry declined considerably during the 1990s. Exports fell from roughly $1 billion before 1989 to about $43 million in 2006, and the number of employees also fell from 220,000 in 1990 to 20,000 in 2009. Sales to the Romanian Armed Forces have plunged after Romania's accession to NATO in 2004, as factories continue to produce Warsaw Pact-caliber weapons and ammunition, which are incompatible with their Western counterparts. There have also been criticisms related to the quality of Romania's military products, due to the obsolescence of factory equipment and production methods. The Cugir weapons plant, for example, still uses some machinery dated from 1890.As of 2009, sales are roughly evenly divided between the Romanian state and foreign customers such as European Union and Arab countries such as Egypt, Algeria and Iraq. Other countries which have shown interest in Romanian equipment include Afghanistan, Israel, Switzerland, the United States, the United Arab Emirates, India, Georgia and a slew of African countries. There have been some signs of slight recovery, with exports reaching €141 million in 2009. However, the arms industry in Romania still lags behind neighboring countries such as Ukraine, Bulgaria and Serbia.In recent years, the Romanian government has called, unsuccessfully, for the lifting of the European Union arms embargo on the People's Republic of China.

Aurel Vlaicu

Aurel Vlaicu (Romanian pronunciation: [a.uˈrel ˈvlajku] (listen); November 19, 1882 – September 13, 1913) was a Romanian engineer, inventor, airplane constructor and early pilot.

Giovanni Magnani

Giovanni Magnani (fl. 1913) was a Romanian-Italian entrepreneur who lived in Bucharest at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1911 he fabricated a set of propellers for A Vlaicu II airplane, thus becoming the first propeller manufacturer in Southeast Europe.

Before meeting Vlaicu, Magnani built around 1910 in Bucharest an ornithopter that never flew.

Gnome Omega

The Gnome 7 Omega (commonly called the Gnome 50 hp) is a French seven-cylinder, air-cooled aero engine produced by Gnome et Rhône. It was shown at the Paris Aero Salon held in December 1908 and was first flown in 1909. It was the world's first aviation rotary engine produced in quantity. Its introduction revolutionized the aviation industry and it was used by many early aircraft. It produced 50 horsepower (37 kW) from its capacity of 8 litres (488 cubic inches). A Gnome Omega engine powers the 1912 Blackburn Monoplane, owned and operated by the Shuttleworth Collection, the oldest known airworthy British-designed aeroplane worldwide. A two-row version of the same engine was also produced, known as the Gnome 14 Omega-Omega or Gnome 100 hp. The prototype Omega engine still exists, and is on display at the United States' National Air and Space Museum.

List of aircraft (V)

This is a list of aircraft in alphabetical order beginning with 'V'.

Romanian Air Force

The Romanian Air Force (Romanian: Forțele Aeriene Române) is the air force branch of the Romanian Armed Forces. It has an air force headquarters, an operational command, four air bases and an air defense brigade. Reserve forces include two air bases and three airfields.

In 2010, the Romanian Air Force employed 9,700 personnel.

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