Rodrig Goliescu

Rodrig Goliescu (1882–1942) was a Romanian inventor, engineer, and Lieutenant, who built the Avioplan, the first airplane with a tubular fuselage. The model, with a length of 1.2 m was successfully tested in 1909, having a take off angle of 30 degrees. The originality of this aircraft was the shape of the fuselage, designed for minimum drag and acting as a tube fan, similar to the way the modern vertical take off aircraft and helicopters are designed.

This shape reduced drag and increased the efficiency of the propeller. Helped by the Minister of Education, Spiru Haret, who also helped Aurel Vlaicu, in 1909 he went to France to acquire an engine for his aircraft. In Paris he sent a survey "Laws of air dynamics" to the French Academy, study that was published in "La France automobile et aérienne" magazine, on 15 May 1909. Goliescu patented his invention in France (patent no. 402329). In the same year he learned to fly and he built an updated version of his aircraft, this time in full size. The aircraft had a half cylinder fuselage, but still the air from the propeller flowed through as in the first model. He flies with his aircraft for the first time, in November 1909, on Juvisy airfield, near Paris, and he reaches an altitude of about 50 m. It was for the first time to fly an aircraft with a tubed propeller. Between 1932 and 1936 he flight tested his Aviocoleopter, the first aircraft to have a toroidal wing.

After his flights, only in 1932, the Italian engineer Luigi Stipa will build an aircraft with a "barrel fuselage" under the name of Stipa-Caproni but the concept will reach its dedication after the Second World War, being successfully implemented in helicopters like SA-365 Dauphin, RAH-66 Comanche or the new X-35 fighter.

Sources: Wikipedia, Early Aviators.