We have all heard of the wright brothers, they invented the first airplanes and started a new era of exploration and expansion. But do you know who the first person to ever start building iron and metal airplanes was?
Of-course you don't! Dragutin Novak , aeronautics pioneer of the early 1900s began a private flight program for the Austrio-Hungarian crown in 1901. He theorized that the heavier a material was, the stronger the force propelling it would be necessary to keep it in flight. He created multiple prototypes of this "leading innovation" in aeronautics while all other nations were still building wood framed biplanes.
Novak used titanium plates welded with an aluminum frame to produce something truly remarkable , and although the Austrian crown took note of his fine work, and his contribution to the municipality of Croatia, world war I came before any "mass production" of these prototypes could be built.
Nova would serve his empire well during world war 1 , first in the infantry, and later in his majesty's air force. He would become an ace, rumored to have downed many enemy French aircraft.
Unfortunately, with the loss of the war, came the lack of funds for innovation in Croatia and Novak died without ever truly showing the world the true extent of his genius.