Coanda Model 1910 Experimental Thermojet-Powered Aircraft
Romanian inventor Henri Coanda considered his Coanda-1910 aircraft the first jet-propelled aircraft in history.
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This invention by Romanian inventor Henri Coanda was in the works as early as 1905 - an experimental attempt featuring a ducted fan engine. The aircraft was showcased to the public during the 2nd International Aeronautical Exhibition (Paris) in 1910 at a time when developments in aviation were of considerable interest. For its time, the Coanda-1910 aircraft was something of a unique specimen for it featured no propeller for its propulsion system - a common quality of all early powered aircraft. Instead, the Coanda-1910 aircraft showcased a piston engine driving a multi-blade centrifugal blower for its propulsion.
Unfortunately for the Coanda-1910, the world of aviation remained quite content with the growing power and capabilities of the gas-powered piston-driven propeller aircraft to which the Coanda entry fell into obscurity in a short amount of time. Coanda claimed to have achieved flight with his creation even before jet technology achieved widespread interest or development. Many publications gloss over Coanda's contributions to the field of jet-powered flight while others are in support of him and his invention(s).
Despite its flimsy appearance, the Coanda-1910 utilized many traditional aircraft components - wing mainplanes sat over and under a tubular fuselage (biplane arrangement), a front-mounted engine, and a finned tail unit. The Coanda utilized a "sesquiplane" wing layout with the lower wing span shorter than that of the top unit. The engine was mounted at the extreme front of the very slim fuselage, the latter constructed mostly of wood covered over in fabric. Exposed support struts and cabling, common to all aircraft of this period, were also used where appropriate. The pilot's position was behind the engine in an open-air cockpit offering little protection from the elements. The wheeled undercarriage was fixed and under the forward mass with a tail skid at rear. The tail unit utilized a cruciform fin arrangement.