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“Karl Irbitis was one of the pioneers in aircraft design on the European continent.
The fact that Irbitis designed all these successful aircraft under extremely difficult conditions,
gives reason to believe that more favourable circumstances would have placed him more
in the spotlight, amongst the leading men in the world aviation.”
(H.Volker. The Irbitis Line. - Air Pictorial and Air Reserve Gazette, 1957, August, pp.254-257)

Born: October 14, 1904, Valmiera district, Lade civil parish, Latvia
Died: October 13, 1997, Ville St-Laurent, Quebeck, Canada

Interests in inventing:

  • Vehicles

  • Design

Main invention:


  • Projects and models of light airplane types:
In Latvia:

1925-1935 - airplane projects for sport pilots (for N.Pulins and H.Runka and the Technical School of Daugavpils (Latvia);
1935-1943  - “Ikars” I-11, I-12 (sportsplanes); I-14, I-15 (military fighter trainers); I-16 (light fighter); I-17 (training light fighter)

In Canada:

1950-            first project and system of control devices of the vertical take-off airplane CL-84

  •  Models of different vehicles (including the ones on air pillow), tractors and boat engines.


  • Logotype of the Government Electrotechnical Factory (VEF) (trade mark that is still used today), 1934.
  • VEF radio receivers, 1934.

Selection of patent documents:

  • K.Irbitis. Control System for Aircraft. Patent of Canada Nr.822575, 1963.
  • K.Irbitis. Pneumatic propeller drive system. Patent of Canada Nr.683336, 1964.
  • K.Irbitis. Pneumatic propeller drives. Patent of Canada Nr.683335, 1964; Patent of USA Nr.312027, 1964.

More about the inventor (in Latvian)