Coanda 1910 Thermojet
This invention by Romanian inventor Henri Coanda amazingly appeared in 1910 as the world's first jet-propelled aircraft. The "Coanda 1910", as it came to be known, was showcased at the Paris Second International Aeronautical Exhibition and was a technological marvel for its time. Before its time, the Coanda design fell into relative obscurity.
The Coanda 1910 was of a traditional aircraft design of a sesquiplane layout, with front-mounted engine. The "jet" engine was mounted at the extreme front of the thin fuselage, made up mostly of wood covered over with fabric (along with struts and wiring) and possibly some metal added to the wings. The pilot was to sit behind the engine in an open-air cockpit with very little protection. The undercarriage was fixed just under the lower wing and featured two wheels and complimented with a landing skid. The tail section ended in a cruciform-type arrangement.
In terms of its "jet" powerplant, the Coanda 1910 featured a combination of piston engine and jet engine power - relying on internal combustion. The traditional combustion engine provided power to a compressor to generate compressed air. The compressed air was then mixed with fuel, ignited and forcibly extracted from special chambers mounted on either side of the fuselage. The resulting force of the expelled reaction was to provide forward momentum for the aircraft.
The Coanda 1910 achieved a single short flight in an accidental way. While ground testing the engine with Henri Coanda at the controls, the powerplant forced the plane airborne for a short time. As Henri himself was not a pilot by trade, he quickly lost control of the aircraft and crashed to the ground throwing him clear of the burning wreckage (though not without slight injuries). Despite the loss of the machine, Henri noted an effect occurring with the expelled gases and how they seemed to conform to the sides of his aircraft. This observation alone would lead Henri to research that would span decades more in what would eventually culminate in the "Coanda Effect".
In the end, Henri Coanda's 1910 invention was never furthered into practical use.
Engine: 1 x 4 cylinder in-line water-cooled, 50hp, driving a compressor for 450 lb of thrust.
Length: 41.01ft (12.5m)
Width: 33.79ft (10.30m)
Maximum Take-Off Weight: 926lbs (420kg)