Henri Coandă (1886-1972)

Henri Coandă

1886 Henri Coanda was born in Bucharest on the 7th of June and was the second child of a numerous family. His father had been General Constantin Coanda, a former Maths teacher of National School of Roads and Bridges in Bucharest and was Prime Minister of Romania for a short time in 1918. His mother, Aida Danet, was the daughter of French doctor Gustave Danet, born in Brittany.

Since childhood, the future engineer and physicist had been fascinated by wind miracle, fact that he would remember later. Henri Coanda was firstly a student of Petrache Poenaru School in Bucharest, then of St. Sava High School, where he attended the first three grades.

1899 Being 13 years old, he was sent by his father (who wanted to guide him to a military career) to Military High School in Iasi.

1903 He graduated high school getting the rank of Major Sergeant and continued his studies within School of Gunners, Engineering and Navy in Bucharest.

1904 Detached to a field artillery regiment in Germany, he was sent to Technische Hochschule (Technical University) in Berlin-Charlottenburg. He was keen on technical issues and especially on aviation engineering.

1905 Coanda built a rocket aircraft for Romanian army.

1907-1908 He also attended academic courses in Belgium, at Liege and to Montefiore Technical Institute.

1908 He returned to Romania and was an active officer in Regiment II of Artillery. Because of his temper and ingenuity that did not deal with military discipline, he asked and got the approval to leave the army and then, taking advantage of regained freedom, he made a long trip by car to Isfahan-Tehran-Tibet.

1909 Coming back he went to France and enrolled to Superior School of Aerospace and Construction, newly established to Paris and graduated it in 1910 as valedictorian of the first class of aeronautical engineers.

Helped by engineer Gustave Eiffel and scientist Paul Painleve, who supported him to obtain necessary approvals, Henri Coanda made prior aerodynamic experiments and founded in Joachim Caproni’s camber workshop the first reactive propulsion aircraft, in fact a jet plane, without propeller, conventionally called „Coanda-1910” and which was presented to the second Aeronautic International Salon in Paris, 1910.

1910 During a fly attempt on December, on Issy-les-Moulineaus airport, near Paris, the machine piloted by Henri Coanda got out of control because of his lack of experience, hit a wall on the wing for takeoff and caught on fire. Fortunately, Coanda was thrown out of the plane before impact and was just scared and a little hurt on the face and hands. For a while, Coanda stopped the experiments because of audience and scientists’ lack of interest at that time.

1911-1914 Henri Coanda worked as Technical Director of Aircraft Factories in Bristol, England, and built many high performance propeller planes, according to his own conception.

In Reims, Henri Coanda presented a fly machine with two coupled engines that operated with only one propeller.

As Technical Director of Aircrafts Factories in Bristol, he designed many “classical” (with propeller) aircrafts known as Bristol-Coanda. In 1912 one of them won the first prize to International Contest of Military Aviation in England.

1914-1918 Henri Coanda worked for “Saint-Chamond” and “SIA-Delaunay-Belleville” in Saint Denis. During this time he designed three types of aircrafts, of which „Coanda-1916” is the most known, having two propellers close to tail plane. „Coanda-1916” looks like Caravelle transport plane, to which projection he also participated.

1916 He returned to France and built a much appreciated pathfinder, the first sled car powered by a jet engine, the first aerodynamic train in the world and many other things.

1926 In Romania, Henri Coanda put-to-point a detection device of liquids in soil. It is used for petroliferous prospecting.

Romanian inventor built on Persian Gulf, an underwater concrete tank for oil storage.

1934 He got a French invention patent for the Procedure and device used for a fluid stream diverting  that enters into another fluid, which is related to phenomenon called “Coanda Effect” nowadays and consists of diverting of a fluid jet that flows along a convex wall, phenomenon that was noticed first time by him in 1910 when his jet airplane’ engine’s probing. This discovery led him to important applicative researches concerned to hyper sustentation of aerodynes and to some sound attenuators development.

1969 Henri Coanda finally returned to the country as Director of Technical and Scientific Creation Institute (INCREST).

1970 He became member of Romanian Academy.

1972 Henri Coanda died in Bucharest on the 25th of November when he was 86 years old.

2010 On the 11th of October, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the first flight in the world, of a jet aircraft made by Henri Coanda, National Bank of Romania introduced for a numismatic goal, a silvery coin, a commemorative one, having a print run of 1000 copies and a nominal value of 10 lei (Romanian currency).

The coin is round, has a diameter of 37 mm; it is made of 999‰ silver, proof quality and weights 31,103 grams. The coin’s edge is reeded. <<Silver coins presented within numismatic show “Commemorating the 100th years from the first jet aircraft’s development done by Henri Coanda” are legal tender on Romania’s territory>>.

Coanda Effect

The first observations were done when the first jet plane in the world was studied, called „Coanda-1910”. After the plane had taken off, he noticed that the flames and the incandescent gas thrown out from reactors tended to remain along the fuselage. Only after 20 years of his and other scientists’ study Romanian engineer formulated the principle behind the so-called „Coanda Effect”, named like this by Professor Albert Metral.[1]




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