Curiosities in Aviation
Frequently Asked Questions, Statistics, Duels

Lancer C, world's top fighter (1995-2005)

World Aviation Curiosities
FAQ, Statistics and Duels

MiG-21 LanceR
1995 - 2005
first operational aircraft with helmet mounted sighting

Have you ever asked yourself which is the best fighter in the world ? Best chopper ? First pilot or aircraft to do this and that ? If X is better than Y ?
All kinds of stuff like that only in this Network here, as Sorin Air Group offers you all that and a lot more, soon !

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Did you know that...
  • ...Romanian Conrad Haans was the earliest European to experiment and test rockets, in 1529 ?
  • ...One of the first suggestions for equipping a dirigible with a jet engine dates back as far as 1886, when Romanian inventor Alexandru Ciurcu (1884-1922), together with Frenchman Just Buisson, suggested that an aerostat built and exhibited with an electric engine at the Paris Exhibition of Electricity in 1881 be provided instead with their jet cylinder
  • ...Ciurcu built and tested their original first jet engine on a small ship running on the Seine River in Paris in 1886 and on a rail car in 1888, making it the first functionable jet engine
  • ...The first war photographer was Romanian Sigismund Bathory, who took the only pictures of the Crimean War
  • ...the person with the highest number of flight hours in the world is an American ? I forgot his name, but that guy has over 53,000 flight hrs !!!
  • ...the woman with the highest number of flight hours in the world is Romanian Smaranda Bratescu, "The Emperess of the Skies". She was a flight instructor in World War II, and she licensed over 3,000 Romanian pilots on more than 40 types of planes. She has almoust 9,000 flight hours. She still lives today in Bucharest, and, at an age of 92, her blood pressure is better than mine !
  • ...the first parachute jumps were experimented several centuries ago, in China ? For the amusement of Chinese emperors, some "stuntmen" performed parachute jumps from heights of over 200 meters
  • ...the first person to attempt the design of an airplane was Leonardo DaVinci ? He also designed several other things, among them the first idea of a "tank" and the round-firing cannon
  • ...the first man to design and build, as well as patent an airplane, was Traian Vuia ? After being laughed at in 1896 in France, in the so-called "Aviation Institute", where he was ridiculed for believing that a vehicle heavier than air could actually fly, Traian Vuia designed and built his first plane, Vuia Nr. 1. Vuia Nr. 1 was licensed in april 1903.
  • ...the first men to glide a vehicle heavier than air were the Wright Brothers, in december 1904
  • ...the first man to fly a vehicle heavier than air by its own power was Traian Vuia, in april 1906
  • ...Romanian pilot Aurel Vlaicu beat all the pilots in all the competitions in Europe between 1906 and 1910 ? In Aspen, Austria, in 1909 however, unfair French observers (it is illegal, in all sports, to have the arbitrary part from the same country as one of the competitors) declared their own and French pilot, Roland Gaross, as winner, and Aurel Vlaicu only on the second place. However the Austrian public, as well the Austrian newspaper, credit Aurel Vlaicu as the winner of the competitions. That was only one of the lies and misjustice encountered by Aurel Vlaicu in his life
  • ...the first man to design the jet engine for an a plane, and implement it on an airplane, was Romanian engineer Henry Coanda (1886-1972), in 1910, after the jet implemented on a dirigable by Alexandru Ciurcu in 1886
  • ...Henry Coanda was also the first man to design, build, and patent a twin-jet engine airplane
  • ...Henry Coanda also discovered "the Coanda" effect, named by the Americans' "the ground effect" so that they wouldn't have to mention his name. The Coanda effect is used not only in aviation, but also in car racing as well as other industries
  • ...Romanian Hermann Oberth (1894-1989), who was born in a village near the city of Medias (pictures with his house from my visit to Medias in april 2003 will be available soon), invented the liquid fuel rocket (same with the one who put the man on the moon), and published the first full study about it, named "The Rocket in the Interplanetary Space", in 1923
  • ...the man to take the highest number of G's was an American. In a test, he took no less than 43 G...and survived
  • ...Igor Sikorsky invented the helicopter. Actually, not invented it, we have to credit Leonardo DaVinci for that, again, but Sikorsky built the first controlable flying model. Igor Sikorsky was a Russian, living in USA
  • ...Romanian Aurel Vlaicu also built two helicopters, between 1918 and 1932, and patended one of them in 1920 in France and England
  • ...the first helicopter to be able to make a full loop in flight, without crashing, was an American chopper, in 1962
  • ...U-2 Black Lady planes fly at altitudes so high, that the pilot has to wear a cosmonaut suit in order to survive the cosmic radiation
  • ...SR-71 Blackbird flies at a speed which is the same of a rifle bullet
  • ...the oldest wide-used plane that is still flying today in more than 45 countries is the Soviet Antonov An-2
  • ...the oldest wide-used JET that is still flying today is the B-52 Stratofortress. B-52 first flew in 1950, and the US Air Force has plans to operate it until 2045 !! Ninety-five years after it's first flight
  • ...the pilot with the highest number of kills in combat is a German World War II pilot. He had no less than 352 kills (!!)
  • ...the altitude record for glider flying in Romania, a country with four seasons and temperate climate, is over 11,400 meters (37,000 feet)
  • ...before the first supersonic flight, American and British pilots actually believed that there are "monsters" that will come into the cockpit, if they push it above Mach 1 (the speed of sound) ?
  • ...the first plane to fly above Mach 1 in a linear flight (meaning not in a dive, which can be achieved by most of subsonic planes as well), was American X-1, or "Experimental plane number one", flown by legendary American pilot Chuck Yeager
  • ...quickly followed X-2 (Mach 2) and X-3 (Mach 3)

Interesting facts

World War II Aces list

  • under construction
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The articles that will soon be available here

F-22 vs. MFI
F-15 vs. F-16 (Cmdr. Raptor and Sgt. mconnell Research Project (jan 2000-apr 2001))
Eurofighter2000 Typhoon or Rafale ? (Cmdr. Raptor and lt. Fulcrum)
Su37 SuperFlanker vs. MFI
Su37 SuperFlanker vs. S-37 Berkut
S-37 Berkut vs. MFI
F-16 vs. Su27, does size matter ? (Cmdr. Raptor after reading a similar pro-Russian debate)

Romanian Air Force
1 0 0   y e a r s   o f   f l i g h t
Some of the Romanian Jets
IAR-93, only plane which could not be jammed by EA-6B Prowlers during the Kosovo war
IAR99 Soim, most advanced jet trainer of its class (T-28, T-32, T-33, T-38, Alpha Jet, L-29, L-39)