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 Rusjan EDA VI / Merćep-Rusjan
 
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The EDA VI over Merna field, flying at an altitude of 40 meters. It was one of the best prototype
 
In the summer of 1910, a new and important phase of the Rusjan work began. During one of bicycle racing, events in Gorizia, Edvard and Josiph met Mihailo Mercep, an aviation enthusiast from Zagreb. The three agreed to a joint venture to built a new airplane and later make public flights and participate in air races. In August 1910, they went to Paris and bought the best 50-horsepower Gnome rotary engine available. They began work on the new airplane by the end of the month. They named the monoplane Mercep-Rusjan.
 
With enough financing and having a powerful enough engine, Edvard and Josiph had the opportunity to build an airplane that would achieve top performance. The airplane had a span of 14 meters. The framework was built of firewood and covered with rubber-treated fabrics. Controls for pitch and roll were moved by means of straps attached to the pilot's body, a unique technique for keeping the hands free.
 
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Built by the Rusjan brothers at the workshops of Mihajlo Merćep in Zagreb, construction of the airplane was completed in November 1910 and flight tests began. The prototype takes off in 28 meters (world record). Early in the program, Edvard reached altitudes of 100 meters. During a public demonstration, he made several successful flights that thrilled the Zagreb citizens. Spectators carried Edvard on their shoulders and honored him with eight-leaf wreaths, a high Yugoslavian honor.
 
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After their successful flight demonstration with the Mercep-Rusjan, and in accord with the custom of the time, Edvard and Mercep organized a tour of European cities, the first stop being Belgrade.
 
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The first Serbian air meeting, which was organised on 9 January 1911, was fatal for Rusjan. In impossible weather conditions, Edvard demonstrated courageous flying to the Belgrade crowds, who had not until then seen such a thing. His takeoff and flight over the town and a railway bridge over the Sava River were uneventful but when he flew close to the Kalemegdan fortress, just before landing a strong gust of wind tore off the wing of his aircraft, at an approximate height of 20 meters.
 
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The accident was fatal, Eduardo died on the way to the hospital, and at 25 years old he became the first victim of flying in Serbia and the 34th victim of motorised flying in the world.
 
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Engine: Gnome 50 hp
Wingspan: 14 m
Ceiling: 400 m
Take-off run: 28 m
Landing run: 60-70 m
 
 
 
 


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