Pioneers and Milestones of Slovene Aviation - Valentin Matija Živic
Date of issue: 12.11.2021
Author: Robert Žvokelj
Motive: Pioneers and Milestones of Slovene Aviation - Valentin Matija Živic
Printed by: Agencija za komercijalnu djelatnost d.o.o., Zagreb, Croatia
Printing Process and Layout: 4-colour offset in sheets of 16 stamps
Paper: Tullis Russell Chancellor Litho PVA RMS GUM, 102 g/m2
Size: 42.28 x 35.50 mm
Perforation: Comb 14 : 14
The beginnings of systematic experimentation with model aircraft – Valentin Matija Živic
Flight is one of the most important phenomena of life on our planet and is around 150 million years old (the Archaeopteryx genus of bird-like dinosaurs). It has existed throughout every period of history, with or without human involvement. Since nature deprived man of wings, he has had to rely on engineering. The flight of birds was for a long time an inspiration for human endeavours in this direction, until because of its impossibility it became more of an obstacle than a model.
In around the year 1500, the great artist, scientist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci sketched a series of human-powered flying machines, although he came to realise that this method would not be successful. A new possibility appeared in the eighteenth century with the principle of lighter-than-air flight – or balloons (the Montgolfier brothers, 1783). The remainder of the eighteenth century was characterised by aerostats (lighter-than-air aircraft). At the same time, however, advances were being made with heavier-than-air flying machines, which resulted, in the late nineteenth century, in the first successful flights with gliders (Otto Lilienthal, 1896) and eventually in powered flight (the Wright brothers, 1903). In the period that followed, innovative aviation became one of the fastest developing spheres of transport and engineering in our part of the world. As the nineteenth century became the twentieth, Slovene ethnic territory was a centre of aviation of international significance – and remains so today.
More than a hundred years after the beginnings of aerostatic or lighter-than-air flight, systematic efforts began to be made to fly with machines that were heavier than air. One Slovene pioneer in this field was the engineer and inventor VALENTIN MATIJA ŽIVIC (1828–1917), who dedicated most of his efforts to the development of a helicopter with two horizontal rotors, an idea he took from the Austrian engineer Georg Wellner and then further developed it. To date no helicopter of this type has ever flown, although experts believe that it would be capable of flight.