Justin Virgilius Capră (born February 22, 1933 in Măgureni, Prahova County, Romania) - aviation mechanical engineer, Romanian inventor.
Justin Capră has made more than 72 prototypes of cars with little consumption, 7 non-conventional aircrafts which it has tested himself and 15 non-conventional engines.
Justin Capră created in 1956, at 25 years, the first flying backpack, in fact an individual flying machine (patented in 1958). After 7 years, the idea was taken over by three Americans, who manufactured it. In 1958, he invented the first version of 'rachetonaut', another individual flying machine, tested at the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest. The result: the invention and was taken over by Americans, and the engineer was arrested by the Secret Service who accused him that he planned to leave the country. He had the flying pack idea during his military service: "I was thinking that I can escape the barracks in flight, without my boss see me. I worked with a mechanic, Munteanu, and I presented the project at the Romanian Academy in 1956. Their response was that "we need tractors, not the people who fly". In 1958 I managed to fly, after many unsuccessful experiences".
The 'Portable device for individual flight' was patented in 1958. "I patented it four years before Wendell Moore, Cecil Martin and Robert Cunnings of Bell Corporation. The Americans have obtained the patent on 22 February 1962 and I, on July 27, 1958.
Justin Capră's priority has been recognized by the Americans in 2002. Meanwhile, 'backpack flying' was used by the astronauts on their Extra Vehicular Activities (EVA), or by Michael Jackson in his shows.
During his inventor career, Justin invented other amazing vehicles: the aerodina with vertical takeoff and landing, an aerodynamic vehicle with adaptable, fluid form (!), and a series of economic cars, Soleta, with little fuel consumption (0.5 liters / 100 km at 70 km/h). Unfortunately, none of his cars have been produced commercially. His latest vehicles are a lightweight electric tricycle (37 kg), presented at Bucharest Inventions Fair and a hybrid car, presented at 'Future Energy' Inventions Fair in Timişoara. The vehicle, named "Justin 1000" after the power developed, is a hybrid of fiber and aluminum, which weighs no more than 140 kilograms and can cater to both the pump, as a normal vehicle, and from any outlet. Outside the city the car consumes unleaded gas, 0.4 liters / 100 km. In town it uses an electric engine and has an autonomy of 250 kilometers, if it works with more than 30 km/h.
Justin Capră never wanted to leave his country. He was invited to work in Canada, USA, Germany, Italy, but he refused. "It seems more interesting to do something in a country where everyone says you can not do anything". After years in which he was treated with indifference (even hostility) from the authorities, he was decorated by the President of Romania and awarded by the Romanian Academy.