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Traian Vuia is Born

Today in Masonic History Traian Vuia is born in 1872.

Traian (Trajan) Vuia is a Romanian inventor.

Vuia was born on August 17th, 1872 in Surducul-Mic, a village in the Banat region in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He graduated high school in Lugoj in 1892. He went to attend the School of Mechanics at the Polytechnic University in Budapest where he graduated with an Engineering degree. After graduation he then joined the Faculty of Law in Budapest where he received a Ph.D. in law in 1901.

After graduating returned to Lugoj. Vuia started to design his first flying machine which he called the "airplane car". Due to financial problems he was not able to continue his work in Lugoj and headed to Paris. There he tried to find backers for his invention. This included going to the Académie des Sciences in Paris where his ideas were rejected with the statement "The problem of flight with a machine which weighs more than air can not be solved and it is only a dream." Undeterred he applied for and received a patent in 1903 for his design. He also created an engine design which he also received a patent for.

Vuia finished building his first airplane in 1905. Despite the fact the Wright brothers had already made their historic flight and word of it had reached Europe, most at the at the time did not acknowledge the accomplishment. Vuia continued testing his design and on several occasions was able to lift off the ground from a flat surface. Unfortunately he was never able to sustain the flight for any length of time and on almost every attempt either damaged his airplane or injured himself. Despite his unsuccessful flights, elements of this original design were used by others in later airplane designs.

Vuia also invented two experimental helicopters which flew between 1918 and 1921. He also invented a steam generator still used today in thermal power stations. He also invented several kinds of gas generators.

In 1946 Vuia was named an honorary member of the Romanian Academy.

Vuia passed away on September 3rd, 1950.

Vuia joined Lodge Ernest Renan in Paris, France.

This article provided by Brother Eric C. Steele.