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Published on Jul 1, 2007
The Coandă-1910 was the first jet-propelled aircraft ever built. It was constructed by Romanian inventor Henri Coandă and exhibited by him at the Second International Aeronautical Exhibition in Paris around October 1910. Unfortunately during a ground test of the engine on December 16, 1910, Coandă was caught unaware by the power of the engine and found himself briefly airborne. He lost control of the machine, and it crashed, burning, to the ground. Coandă was thrown clear of the crash. Between 1911 and 1914, he worked as technical director of Bristol Aeroplane Company in the UK, where he designed several airplanes known as Bristol-Coandă airplanes. In 1915, he went again to France where, working during World War I for Delaunay-Belleville in Saint-Denis, he designed and built three different models of propeller airplane, including the Coandă-1916, with two propellers mounted close to the tail; this design was to be reprised in the "Caravelle" transport airplane, for which Coandă was a technical consultant. He invented a new decorative material for use in construction, beton-bois; one prominent example of its use is the 1926 Palace of Culture, in Iaşi. 1926: Working in Romania, Coandă developed a device to detect liquids under ground, useful in petroleum prospecting. Shortly thereafter, in the Persian Gulf region, he designed a system for offshore oil drilling. Probably the most famous of Coandă's discoveries is the Coandă Effect. After the crash of the "Coandă-1910" airplane, Coandă observed that flames and incandescent gas emitted by the fire tended to remain close to the fuselage. After more than 20 years studying this phenomenon along with his colleagues, Coandă described what Albert Metral was later to name the "Coandă Effect". This effect has been utilized in many aeronautical inventions and is crucial to successful supersonic flight.