Business & Technology

American collector donates Ceaușescu’s presidential plane to Romanian Aviation Museum

The aircraft of the late Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu was donated to the National Museum of Romanian Aviation on Wednesday by the American collector who bought it earlier at an auction this May organized by the Romanian auction house of Artmark (via maszol.ro).

The handover event of the ROMBAC 1-11 passenger plane took place on the platform of Henri Coandă International Airport, in the presence of the donator, the representatives of the Romanian Aviation Museum, the members of the Artmark auction house, and also of the judicial liquidator managing the assets of the late Romanian airline of ROMAVIA.

Buys it for €120,000, then donates it to a museum

According to Artmark, the starting price of the aircraft on the auction organized on May 27, 2021 was EUR 25,000 and at the end it was bought for EUR 120,000 by American citizen Brian Hyndman.

But now the new owner ceded the aircraft free of charge, in the form of a sponsorship contract, to the Romanian Aviation Museum. In the act of donation, the successful bidder expressed his intention to

“preserve the historical piece, to join it with the iconic models that played an important role in the history of the world, giving the possibility to join the family of recognized technical values in the aeronautical industry.”

The plane, by the way, is classified as a treasure of the Romanian national movable cultural heritage.

Only 9 such plane were ever built

The ROMBAC 1-11 passenger airplane of the late Romanian dictator, who was executed together with his wife on Christmas Day, December 25, 1989, was the first and only passenger plane built in Romania, and this was the first and only passenger jet aircraft in the Eastern Block back then, which was produced outside of the USSR.

Only 9 pieces were ever produced from it in the Bucharest airplane factory between 1982 and 1989. It had 119 seats and its maximum speed was 870 km per hour, and the one, which was used by Ceaușescu on his official travels, and which has been donated now to the Aviation Museum, was the fifth out of the nine planes.


Title image: The plane which was used by late Romanian dictator Ceaușescu was first bought by an American collector at an auction in May for EUR 120,000 and now it was donated by him to the Romanian Aviation Museum. (Photo: artmark.ro)


Author: Attila Szoó