Chitila Airfield
Gheorghe Negrescu in the pilot's seat, Aurel Vlaicu in the passenger's seat ,
from left to right military pilots Protopopescu, Parvulescu, Popescu,
and the mechanic Nichita Pasev.

via email from Aurelian Simionescu, 12-8-04
     Stefan Protopopescu was trained and licensed at Chitila Piloting School, near Bucharest. The school was a joint venture founded by Mihail Cerchez on November 20th 1909. The school, conducted by French flight instructors, had five hangars, rostrums for spectators and assembly shops where Farman planes brought from France were assembled.
      Official opening of the school was made on July 9th 1910 when the chief flight instructor and director of the school René Guillemin attempted a demonstration flight. Unfortunately, shortly after take off, he crashed his Farman biplane from a height of 40 meters and broke his leg.
     Guillemin was succeeded by Michel Molla who on September 7th 1910 made the first cross flight over Bucharest. Molla was followed by flight instructor Charles Villard (who crushed his plane only 3 days after his arrival from France on May 18th 1911, injured his leg and never flew again) and by Luis Martinez-Rex.
     Six officers were trained as pilots on Chitila Piloting School but only two were licensed: sub-lieutenant Stefan Protopopescu and sub-lieutenant Gheorghe Negrescu.
      Due to financial difficulties the school was closed in 1912.

     If you search for "Stefan Protopopescu", using the Google search engine, (12-10-04), you will find about 69 links. The one just below may be relative.

     This website, one of the very few in English, tells the story of the 95th Supersonic Jet Conversion Center. In the third paragraph is found the following sentence.
"The Training Center of the Aviation was led along the time by great names of the Romanian wings major Stefan Burduloiu, major Emanoil lonescu, lieutenant-colonel Constantin Beroniade, lieutenant-colonel Stefan Protopopescu, commander Gheorghe Negrescu and others. "
     I can't confirm that this reference refers to the subject of this page, but it may help to learn more about his career. You can access the page by clicking on the title above.

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 Protopopescu. 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.

I have no information as to the dates of his birth or his death.
Personal communication from Aurelian Simionescu, 12-8-04

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

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