Of the handful of excellent and dedicated pilots that this country saw emerge during the period of expansion prior to the Civil War, very few stood out for their technical and special investigation work.
Not only do we highlight what was at the time the sporting facet and aeronautical evolution of Carlos de Haya, this self-taught inventor, as emerges from a series of events and initiatives that shaped his exceptional career in Spanish Aviation, but we would also like to take the opportunity to draw attention to his extraordinary importance as an aeronautical inventor.
The creation and perfecting of the “Haya Integral” (donated to the Government) which already in 1932 constituted the first successful and operational modern Artificial Horizon, was a feat of imagination and technical prowess within the field of Full Time Instrumental Flight that in itself would have brought its designer instant fame amongst the world’s aviators if the historical circumstances of our country at that time had been different.
The first reports relating to Haya’s interest in Non-visibility Flight begin to feature in his biography around the year 1927, barely two years after his initiation as a pilot and almost coinciding with his air campaign in Africa.

The huge interest that Haya showed for instrumental flight and, by extension, night flight, emerged early in his aeronautical career, as is demonstrated in September 1927, when he and Tauler carried out their round Spain night flight on board a De Havilland “Napier”. The planning of the different night stages, the study of the positioning of the direction finder and the antennae inside the aeroplane coupled with the complex calculation of the positions and each stage of the flight already reveal the particular interest shown by our man in these matters. From 30th November to 13th December 1930, he went to Paris on a “service commission” but without right to indemnity, in order to get to know the latest developments on show in the “Branches of Aeronautics” as it was coined in the peculiar terminology of the age.
These experiences were to spark in his brilliant and imaginative mind the idea of an Artificial Horizon Gyroscope which would also be combined into a single instrument with a Turn indicator, forming a simple assembly characterised by a purity of design extraordinary for that age, without numbers, scales or complications of any type, enabling the pilot at a glance to accurately determine the real position of the plane and its performance in a turn or in a flight path.


Gyroscopic Artificial Horizon.
Flight Calculator.
Plan showing design of the Incendiary shrapnel “H” Bomb and “Haya” Fuse.
Click on the photos to enlarge the news.
All this information has been obtained from the following writings, books and encyclopaedias:
-Espasa-Calpe Encyclopaedia
- Aeronautical History Review (October 1989 issue nº 7/ November 1990 issue nº 8)
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