Edvard Rusjan

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Edvard Rusjan
Edvard Rusjan in 1911
Edvard Rusjan in 1911
Born(1886-06-06)June 6, 1886
DiedJanuary 9, 1911(1911-01-09) (aged 24)
Occupationbicycle retailer/manufacturer, airplane inventor/manufacturer, pilot trainer

Edvard Rusjan (6 June 1886 – 9 January 1911)[1][2] was a Italo-Slovenian flight pioneer and airplane constructor. He died in an airplane crash in Belgrade.[1][3]


Rusjan was born in Trieste,[1] then the major port of Austria-Hungary (now in Italy). His parents were both natives of the Gorizia and Gradisca region: his father, Franc Rusjan, was a Slovene, and his mother, Grazia Cabas, was Friulan.[4] Rusjan spent his childhood and adolescence in Gorizia, in the suburb of Rafut.

In his youth, he became a professional bicyclist, and designed his own bicycle models, together with his brother Josip Rusjan. He was also member of the Sokol gymnastic association.

He made his first flight on 25 November 1909, near Gorizia, in Eda I, a biplane of his own design. Eda was Edvard's nickname, given by his mother.[1][5]

The flight was covered 60 m (200 ft) and reached a height of 2 m (6 ft 7 in). On 29 November 1909, he flew 600 m (2,000 ft) at an altitude of 12 m (39 ft). The original design was followed by several improved versions. He moved to a hangar near Miren south of Gorizia.

Rusjan first attended a public flight event with the model EDA V on 6 December 1909, when his aircraft broke apart at landing.[1] In June 1910, he tried the model EDA V, which enabled him to fly 40 meters above the ground and overfly the whole Miren Field.

Replica of Rusjan airplane Eda V

The brothers Rusjan ran out of finance for the construction of EDA VII. In 1910 Edvard Rusjan met the businessman of Serbian origin Mihajlo Merćep, who offered him financial help for his endeavors. The same year, the brothers moved to Zagreb, Croatia, when they started a project of airplane construction on larger scale. In November 1910, they constructed a new model.[1]

In January 1911, Edvard and Josip Rusjan went on a promotional tour through the Balkan cities. During a flight in Belgrade, Serbia on 9 January 1911 a strong wind broke a wing of Edvard's aeroplane and it dived into a railway embankment near the Belgrade Fortress in a fatal crash.[2][5] His funeral was attended by a large crowd of about 14,000 people.

He is interred at Belgrade's New Cemetery, lot 15, grave 343.


The Maribor Edvard Rusjan Airport and asteroid 19633 Rusjan are named after him. The commercial and business center Eda Center in Nova Gorica is dedicated to Rusjan's memory.

One of the DC-10 in the JAT fleet was named after Edvard Rusjan.[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Mesesnel, France (1925–1991 (printed ed.). 2009 (electronic ed.)). "Rusjan Edvard". In Vide Ogrin, Petra (electronic ed.). Cankar, Izidor et al. (printed ed.) (eds.). Slovenski biografski leksikon (in Slovenian). ISBN 978-961-268-001-5. Check date values in: |year= (help)CS1 maint: uses editors parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b Sitar, Sandi (1989). Edvard Rusjan. Partizanska knjiga. p. 72. COBISS 7780352.
  3. ^ http://www.vazduhoplovnetradicijesrbije.rs/index.php/clancivlepojevica/160-m-mercep-i-e-rusjan
  4. ^ Gombač, Srečko (2004). Brata Edvard in Josip Rusjan iz Gorice: začetkí motornega letenja med Slovenci. Puhek.
  5. ^ a b "Edvard Rusjan, Pioneer of Slovene Aviation". Republic of Slovenia – Government Communication Office. Archived from the original on 23 April 2014. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  6. ^ "MC DONNELL - DOUGLAS DC - 10". www.taxiways.de. Retrieved 2017-01-31.

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