They come over here …
He was born in 1886 and invented a recoilless gun, prefabricated houses and a solar-powered system of desalination, among many other things.
He is best-known, however, as one of the leading early pioneers of aviation. He designed several experimental aircraft including (though the claim is highly contentious) what is said to be the world’s first jet aircraft. The Coandă effect, the tendency of fluid jets to be attracted towards the nearest surface, is named after him.
The fact that he designed a disc-shaped experimental plane in the 1930s and that he was forced to collaborate with the Germans while living in France during the War is what underpins tales of Nazi flying saucers so beloved of so many conspiracy theorists.
Earlier in his career, though, Henri Coandă worked in Bristol. He joined the British & Colonial Aircraft Company in 1912, just two years after its foundation, as its Technical Director, and worked there for three years.
To cut a long story short, he made several key contributions to the company in its early years, not only helping ensure its commercial survival, but playing his part in building a firm which by 1914 was capable of turning out well-designed aircraft which played a critical role in winning the First World War.
Coandă had been born in Bucharest, and died there in 1972 after returning to Romania in his old age. Bucharest’s international airport is named after him.
This is one of the places where British news reporters have been hanging out lately, desperately looking for Romanians planning to come over here, steal our jobs and our benefits and randomly stab themselves in order to get free treatment on the NHS.
The next time (and it’ll be soon) you see or hear any of this spiteful, pig-ignorant drivel pumped out by rags owned by people who’d prefer you to hate hard-working foreigners rather than bankers or their own tax-dodging proprietors, remember that without one particular Romanian immigrant, Bristol might not have its aerospace industry.
And that we’d all be speaking German.
(Actually, that last bit is a slightly massive exaggeration, but you get the idea.)
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