An engineer and designer, he was the driving force behind most of Romania’s hovercraft developments during the 1970s and 1980s. Under his leadership at ICEPRONAV – the Romanian Research and Design Institute of Shipbuilding – more than 25 types of hovercraft of all sizes were designed, built, and tested, up to 4,250 shp.
In addition, he led the research and design of “unorthodox” fast ships: sliders, hydrofoils and wing-in-ground-effect ships (known as “Ekranoplanes”), though none passed beyond mock-up stages. Kiraly was also a devoted helicopter historian, mainly concentrating on the achievements of Romanians, other Eastern European helicopter pioneers, and early vertical flight attempts of the pre-1915 period. He authored numerous articles, including for Vertiflite, and contributed to the book, Romanian Aeronautical Constructions. Matei Kiraly of Galati, Romania passed away on June 6, 2011 age 75.
AHS Update: Vertiflite Fall 2011