Stanko Bloudek was Slovenian athlete, aviation constructor and planner of sport structures. He was born on February 11th 1890 in Idrija, he died on November 26th 1959 in Ljubljana.
He was born to a family of five children, father Jeroslav was a mechanical engineer from Telče on Moravian, mother Minka was Slovenian. In year 1894 the family moved to Czech to Most (Brüx) due to the fathers’ employment in a mine of brown coil. In Czech Stanko visited and finished the primary school and four classes of classical high school. In year 1904 his father died, due that he moved back to Slovenia. Fifth class he finished in Kranj, last three on 1st State high school. Already as a student of secondary school, he was impressed with painting, as he visited a private painting school with Rihard Jakopič as the tutor. After the death of his mother in year 1908, he left to study on the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, but after a year he transferred into technical direction and enrolled on High technical school, to be educated as an engineer, as his father.
In his life he worked on four areas: aviation, automobilism, development of sport in Slovenia and constructing of sports structures.
With construction of planes he started very early, already in year 1906 when he was working on his own models. In year 1910, in Prague, he at first worked on the glider, then on one wing plane named Racek – Galeb. In year 1911 followed a two winged plane Libela. He was the first Slovenian professional constructor in aviation industry, and had in worked Leipzig Wien, Budapest and Truntnov in Czech between years 1911 – 1918. When he was employed at Etrich company, a plane manufacturing plant, he participated at the construction of basic Etrich plane, Etrich taube. This was the most modern plane of that time. He participated at the remodelling of Schwalbe – lastovka (en. swallow), with which they reached the Austrian speed record with 163 km/h in year 1911. Within a team he worked on the construction of a plane with glazed cabin named Luftlimousine, three-seat advanced plane, with which they set two speed world records in England in year 1912. With two crew members on board they reached 112 km/h, however with three, 106 km/h. In the time of the first world war, Bloudek got a task, to strengthen the plane Taube or Rumpler and remodel it for war purposes. When the two winged planes started to dominate, Bloudek wanted to switch to these models, but he was denied by the employer, as he insisted at one wing planes. This was the reason, that in year 1913 he remained without work.
Afterwards he worked in the plane lot factory Thoene & Fiala in Wien, between years 1914 – 1916 he was a constructor for the company Oestrerreichische Flugzeugfabrik in Wien Novo mesto. Soon after, the construction of planes was not a special challenge for him anymore, this is why he moved to Budapest in year 1916. In Albertfavla he was a senior engineer and took over as the head of the development department at the Ufag factory. At that time he was working on an aircraft, known today as helicopter, named Bloudek – Balaban helicopter. In year 1917 the group Bloudek, Bela Oravecz and Karl Balaban worked together on the construction of a helicopter with six branches on vertically placed axis, but the project was abandoned due to problems with stability. After the First World War he worked with Ljubljana aero club on the construction of a one wing plane named Sraka, which was being built in years 1924 – 1925. In years 1928 – 1929 he participated at the construction of two-seated plane named Lojze. But after the crash of Lojze in year 1934 he was done with planes construction. With that his era of aviation has ended.
Even before he left the aviation behind him, he started to work in automobilism, as the car became probationary means of transport after the end of war. He started to work in one of the first workshops of Jožef Peterc. In year 1926 and 1927 he attended the race on pass Ljubelj, where he raced and was also a member of the technical commission of the race. He joined stock company Automontaža in year 1933, as co-owner and head constructor. At the same time he was also developing a first home personal car Triglav, on the basis of German DKW. First prototype was presented on April 1934. In Automontaža, or Avtomontaža after year 1936, Bloudek worked until the beginning of the Second World War.
One of his work areas was the development of sport in Slovenia, as he was a pioneer of many sports in Slovenia. He participated at establishing a football club Hermes in year 1909. It was he who brought the first real football ball and shoes to Ljubljana. He collaborated with the sport society Ilirija, where he was among the leading men until year 1941. Between years 1925 – 1929 he was among the first Slovenian football players, multiple champion of Yugoslavia in figure skating and the Slovenian champion in discus throw. He was the organiser, patron, coach and consultant. He was recognized for the beginning and development of tennis, swimming, ice skating, athletics, skating, fencing, football, ice hockey, skiing and ski jumps.
He was also a constructor of sport structures, he was a design engineer and builder of multiple sport structures. In Ljubljana he was building the first modern football field, tennis court, Olympic pool, athletic track, ice rink for the needs of Ilirija. At that time he designed the biggest ski jump in Planica, which was named Bloudek ski jump. After year 1932 he designed plans for more than 100 ski jumps, his plans were imitated by Germans and Austrians. He also designed the Planica ski jump, ropeway on Krvavec, ropeway on Maribor Pohorje and participated on the construction of ropeway on Črni Vrh at Jesenice. In time of the Second World War he collaborated with Liberation front and with Partisan army, for which he designed weapons and tools. But because of that he was prosecuted and arrested. After his release he again worked in the leaderships of sport organisations. He was a president of physical committee of Slovenia, the leader of design bureau of Sports association of Slovenia. In year 1948 he became a member International Olympic committee. Most recognized annual reward on the sport field in Slovenia was named after him, the Bloudek recognitions.
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