Jan Bahyl, born in Zvolenska Slatina (Austro-Hungary) in 1845, graduated from the Banska Stiavnica Mining Academy with a diploma in technical drawing in 1869. During his year long army service, he was noticed by his superiors, having made some technical improvements for the Hungarian army, and was enrolled into the technical staff.
As well as being entrusted with complex building tasks while in the army, Bahyl was also able to study at the Vienna Military Academy, where he graduated in 1879 and was made a lieutenant.
During his time in the army Bahyl was able to work on a number of inventions, many of which involved hydraulics. His first notable invention, which he actually financed with his own money, was the Steam Tank. This was bought by the Russian army, the money from which enabled Bahyl to dedicate the rest of his life to inventing.
Bahyl was granted 7 patents in all, including the invention of the tank pump, air balloons combined with an air turbine, the first petrol engine car in Slovakia (with Anton Marschall) and a lift up to Bratislava castle. Perhaps, he is best remembered though for constructing a petrol motor-driven helicopter, which he himself flew up to 4 meters high and for over 1500 meters, in 1905.
On 13 August 1895, he was granted a patent numbered 3392 by emperor Franz Joseph. On the following years he made several attempts reaching a height of 0.5 meters in 1901, 1.5 in 1903 and on 5th May of 1905 at Pressburg he flew up using his petrol-engine helicopter to a height of 4 meters for over 1500 meters that was also recorded by the International Airship Organisation.