The aircraft was quite unconventional in design, and its most striking feature was its powerplant, since it featured a primitive form of jet engine. This used an ordinary internal combustion engine to drive a compressor instead of a propellor. The compressed air was mixed with fuel and ignited in two combustion chambers before being exhausted along the sides of the aircraft. This was intended to provide a reactive force that would push the aircraft along.
Unfortunately during a ground test of the engine on December 16, 1910, Coanda 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. Coanda was thrown clear of the crash.
During the machine's short flight, Coanda was able to observe that the burning gasses from the engine seemed to hug the sides of the aircraft very closely and this is what seemed to cause the fire. He (and other scientists) spent many years researching this effect, which is now known as the Coanda Effect in his honour.
Coanda did not pursue this line of development of the jet engine. However, years later, the Italian Campini Caproni CC.2 aircraft would fly with a similar type of engine, and Japanese engineers would develop another such engine to power kamikaze aircraft. However, practical jet engines depended on the development of the gas turbine to become a reality.
Wing Area: 32.7 sq. m
Powerplant: Four-cylinder, In-line, Water-cooled engine developing 37.3kW at 1,000 rpm driving a compressor designed to produce a thrust of approx 2,000N.