George Bibescu
2/23 1901?
via email from Aurelian Simionescu, 11-22-04
     George Bibescu was born in the Romanian royal family on March 22, 1880 in Bucharest.
     G.V. Bibescu tried to teach himself how to fly in 1909 on Cotroceni airfield on a Voisin airplane brought from France. Before that he flew a balloon named "Romania" also brought from France. His attempts to fly the Voisin airplane were unsuccessful and after Louis Blériot 's demonstrative flight in Bucharest on October 18th 1909 he went to Paris and enrolled in Blériot's school in Pau and obtained on January 23rd 1910 the international pilot license number 20.
     After his return from France, Bibescu organized the Cotroceni Piloting School where of the three young officers trained, two received their pilot licenses: lieutenant Mircea Zorileanu and sub-lieutenant Nocolae (Nicu) Capsa. Cotroceni Piloting School was closed in 1912.
     At his invitation, Louis Blériot visited Bucharest and performed demonstration flights on Baneasa hippodrome on October 18, 1909.
     "Experiments with the new military type BLERIOT airplane on Cotroceni airfield. Prince George V. Bibescu ready to depart for the flight ordered at Turnu Magurele (city on the river Danube south of Bucharest)
Photo by Negel.
     The photographer must be George Negel, another Romanian early flier."

       In 1911, he organized the Flight School on Cotroceni field in Bucharest using French airplanes. Pilots Mircea Zorileanu and Nicu Capsa were trained and licensed there.
     On May 5th 1912 G.V. Bibescu founded the Romanian National Aeronautic League. On August 1st 1912 under the patronage of the National Aeronautic League, the Military and Civilian Piloting School of Baneasa was founded. Pilots were trained on Farman and Blériot airplanes. Former Bibescu's students Mircea Zorileanu and Nicolae Capsa were flight instructors
     Between 1927-1930, he was vice-president and later between 1930-1941 president of the International Aeronautic Federation (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale).
     He also co-founded the Romanian Automobile Club in 1901 and the Romanian Olympic Committee in 1914. He died on July 2, 1941 in Bucharest.

Nicolae Capsa
Aviatori de la Scoala de pilotaj de la Cotroceni; locotenentul
?Istrate (x), locotenentul Mircea Zorilianu (xx), George Valentin
Bibescu (xxx) si locotenentul Nicolae Capsa (xxxx).
Collection of Michel Lliescu, 8-3-06
Courtesy of Aurelian Simionescu, 8-16-06
"Aviators of Cotroceni Piloting School. From left to right: first lieutenent Istrate, first lieutenant Zorileanu, George Valentin Bibescu and first lieutenant Nicolae Capsa"
     I know that Bibescu had 3 students and only Zorileanu and Capsa received their pilot licenses. Istrate must have been the third student who either abandoned school, or failed to take his license.

     If you search for "George Valentin Bibescu", using the Google search engine, (12-02-04), you will find about 105 links. If you specify only websites in English, you will find about 23 links, most of them very helpful. The one cited immediately below is a "must-see" for any serious fan.
Aeroclubul Romaniei - GV BIBESCU, first Romanian airman.
     This page, on the AEROCLUBL ROMÂNIEI, (Romanian Aeroclub), website, offers a very comprehensive and interesting story of Bibescu's life and career. It covers his whole story in great detail and makes for fascinating reading. It is illustrated with five small photographs, each of which may be viewed in enlarged form in the Gallery.
     In the middle of the page, you will find a link to a Gallery which displays twenty relevant photographs of high quality and great interest regarding the Prince. You can access the site by clicking on the title above.
     While on the homepage, you may want to visit the several Galleries which are devoted to the FORD Trimotor, JUNKERS Ju-52, Potez 56 and SAVOIA Marchetti SM-83.

The Romanian Air Corps in WWI
     This page on the Axis History Forum website, offers a very interesting and comprhensive revue of the Romanian Air Corps submitted by "Victor.". It includes mention of many of the pioneer aviators who are found on the pages of my website, including Bibescu. As a background for a more complete understanding of the stories of each individual aviator, I found it to very helpful. You can access the site by clicking on the title above.

2004 Stamp Issues Review
     This pdf file was submitted by John Moody in response to my request for more information regarding the anniversary stamp isssued by Romania Post. If you have the Adobe Reader installed, you can access the file by clicking on the title above. You will find a nice photo of Bibescu, along with a brief description of the stamp, on page 7.

George Valentin Bibescu died on July 2, 1941 in Bucharest.
Personal communication from Aurelian Simionescu, 11-22-04

If you have any more information on this pioneer aviator
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper

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