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> Henry Coanda Issue: 2009-1 Section: Other



The future is the sum of the steps you take, including the small ones, the ignored steps or the mocked ones

Henri Coandă


This paper presents the schools that the scholar attended, as well as some of Henri Coandă’s inventions - a universal symbol of creativity in the field of science and technology. The Romanian scholar stands for the relentless genius who brought mankind 2608 inventions in the course of almost seventy years.

Henri Marie Coandă (Born on the 7th of June 1886 - Died on the 25th of November 1972) was a Romanian scholar and engineer, aviation pioneer, physicist, inventor.

His main inventions with central implications in technology are the following: The Reaction engine, the Coandă effect, the Solar installation for the desalination of sea water, Concrete – wood (Beton-Bois), Prefabricated houses, the Gun without recoil.

He was born in Bucharest, and was the second child of a family that would be a large one. It is worth mentioning the fact that ever since he was a child, the future engineer and physicist would find himself fascinated with the miracle of wind.

Henri Coandă started school in Bucharest but from 1899 he continued it at the Military High-School in Iasi. He graduated high-school in 1903 and was awarded the degree of sergeant major.

Furthermore, he returns to Bucharest where he continued his studies at the School of Artillery Officers. In 1904 he was detached to a field artillery regiment in Germany and he continues his studies at the Technische Hochschule (The Technical University) in Berlin-Charlottenburg.

His passion for technical matters and especially the one for aviation start to come to being. Therefore, in 1905 Coandă builds a rocket-plane for the Romanian army.

From 1907 until 1908 he also attends graduate classes in Liège, Belgium as well as at the Montefiore Technical Institute in Italy. In 1908 he returns home and is appointed active officer in the Second Artillery Regiment. Because of his nature and his inventiveness that did not comport well with the military discipline, he solicited and obtained permission to leave the army. Upon his return, he left for France and enrolled at the Superior School of Aeronautics and Constructions, a newly established school in Paris in 1909. In the following year he graduated from it and become the head of the first aeronautical engineers class.

Benefiting from the support of engineer Gustave Eiffel and that of scholar Paul Painlevé, Henri Coandă has conducted aero dynamical experiments. He built the first aeroplane with reactive propulsion in Joachim Caproni’s workshop. The aeroplane built by Henri Coandă was an airplane with reaction, without a propeller, conventionally named, Coandă-1910 and was presented in 1910 at the 2nd International Salon in Paris. He managed to conduct his aero dynamical experiments on a mobile platform placed upon a train. Therefore, his experiments were conducted in movement, running at 90km/h, on the Paris-Saint Quentin route. The engineer could draw quantitative aeronautical determinations by using a wind tunnel with smoke, an aero dynamical scale and a special photographical camera, of his own. Because of these experiments he managed to establish a functional wing profile for his future aeroplanes.

In 1911 in Reims, Henri Coandă presented the pattern for a new aeroplane.

This one was endowed with a double engine and a single propeller.

Between 1911 and 1914, Henri Coandă worked as a technical manager at the Aviation Plants in Bristol, England and built planes with propellers of great performance, which were all his own designs.

In his quality as a technical manager of the Bristol Plants, Henri Coandă designed several classical aeroplanes (with propellers) known as Bristol-Coandă Aeroplanes. In 1912 one of these aeroplanes won the first prize at the International Military Aviation Contest in the UK.

In the following years, he returned to France where he worked at the Dalauney-Belleville Airplanes in Saint Denis. It was there that he designed three types of aeroplanes, of which, the most famous was Coandă-1916. This plane had two propellers placed in the proximity of the plane’s tail, sharing great similarities with the Caravelle transport aeroplane, for which Coandă was a technical consultant.

In this period of time he is highly esteemed as he also accomplished his first automobile-sledge, endowed with a reaction engine. Afterwards, he also built the world’s first aerodynamic train and many more.


Other inventions:

In the year 1926, Henri Coandă developed a device aimed to detect the liquids in the ground. It was also used in oil prospecting.

In the Persian Gulf, the Romanian inventor built an oceanic equipment for the storage of oil away from the sea shore.

In 1934 he obtained a French licence for the Device for the deviation of a current of fluid that entered in another fluid. This refered to the phenomenon we call today, The Coandă Effect, a name given by the French professor Albert Metral. The Coandă effect consisted in the deviation of a fluid jet that flows alongside a convex wall. The phenomenon was first noticed by Coanda in 1910, when he tested the engine that had equipped his reaction aeroplane. Henri Coandă noticed that after the plane took off; both the flames and the incandescent gas were coming out of the reactors had the tendency to remain next to the fuselage. It took more that twenty years of research from both Coandă and other scientists for them to formulate the principle behind the so-called Coandă effect.

The discovery of the Coandă effect took him to major applicative researches concerning the hyper sustenance of aeroplanes, the making of sound attenuators, and many more.

Henri Coandă returned to Romania for good in 1969 as manager of the Institute for Scientific and Technical Creation (INCREST) in Bucharest. In the following year, in 1970, he became a member of the Romanian Academy. As an appreciation of all his scientific merits, the management of the Romanian state named him a counsellor in rank of ministry in the State Council and the Polytechnic Institute in Bucharest granted him the title of Doctor Honoris Causa.

Because of his exceptional accomplishments, Henri Coandă has remained one of the pioneers of the Romanian, as well as worldly aviation. A part of his numerous inventions, along with the patents that he obtained in different periods of time, are on display at the Technical Museum, section Coandă, in Bucharest. His name is also linked to some achievements of man into space. Among others, he is also the creator of certain technical devices of great intricacy, devices that are called, the flying stars, with which the brake of the lunar module of Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 were made possible when the time of the landing on the Moon came.

For instance, the Coandă effect has many uses, such as: in devices meant to cushion industrial noises, in pulverising insecticides, in reducing recoil in fire weapons. Other interesting experiments were conducted by the Romanian scientist also in the field of flying by designing the so-called lenticular aerodine.


The Coandă effect has also found its use in the designing of a device for the improvement of efficiency for the engine with internal combustion and also, with the designing of a recoil brake for fire weapons. Today, the effect that bears his name is currently being used for the maintenance of aerial vehicles, for the improvement of gas turbines, and so on.

Coandă has invented many elements that are useful in the field of Constructions, and here, we must mention the so-called béton-bois, a very good decorative material of construction, also used in the building of the Palace of Culture in Iaşi in 1926.

We must also take into account the spatial elements also used in Constructions. Coandă was also the one to established the first devices for the conservation, keeping and transportation of concrete, even on the railroad (wagons for concrete), but also a device for the desalination of sea water.

The number of Henri Coandă’s inventions is estimated at the impressive sum of 2608, and the 700 innovation licences have recommended him as a great scientist of the XX century.


For his fruitful activity, Henri Coandă was awarded many distinctions. Thus, in 1965 he received the prize of the Haryy Diamond, laboratories, as well as the Prize and the Vieilles Tiges Great Gold Medal, the UNESCO Prize for Scientific Research, the Medal of the French Aeronautics, the Order of Merit and the ring of Commandor. He was also the youngest officer of the French Academy, as well as Member of the Romanian Academy.

Coandă died in Bucharest November 25, 1972 at the age of 86. His heritage towards mankind can be summed-up to his 2608 inventions.


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