Thursday, April 16, 2009
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Peter Maksimovich Ostapenko 1928-2012
Peter Maksimovich Ostapenko was born in Prokhladny town of Kabardino-Balkariya. He served in the Army from 1947. In 1951 he graduated from Armavir high military aviation pilot school. After graduation appointed there as pilot-instructor (till 1957). In 1958 graduated from Test-pilot school and in 1967 graduated from MAI. Between 1958 -1983 he worked as test-pilot and from 1983 as a leading engineer at A.I.Mikoyan EDB.
Ostapenko helped develop no less than 64 aircraft variants, including the MiG-21, MiG-23, MiG-25, MiG-27, MiG-29 and MiG-31 fighters and interceptors, and the EPOS (article 105.11) space vehicle prototype. He flew over 5,000 hours as a test pilot, made over 10,000 landings, and held eight world aviation records including absolute altitude and speed records gained in Ye-166 and MiG-25 aircraft.
He survived an ejection from a prototype MiG-31 interceptor in 1979.
He made a huge contribution to MiG's test pilot school. Awarded Hero of the Soviet Union, he also held the Order of Lenin, Red Banner Order of Labor, Red Star, and was awarded a USSR State Prize. He was also awarded the title of USSR Senior Test Pilot and USSR Senior Aircraft Builder.He was also awarded the De Lavaux international aviation prize in 1963.
Aviard Gavrilovich Fastovets 1937-1991
Aviard Fastovets was born in Kovrov town of Vladimir Region. Graduated from Air Force special school (Ivanovo town). Since 1954 served in Army. In 1955 graduated from Military aviation school of pilot elementary training (Aktiubinsk town), and in 1957 graduated from Kachinskoye military aviation pilot school. Was given a position of pilot-instructor in the school (till 1965). In 1967 graduated from Test-pilot School.
In 1967-1987 worked as test-pilot and in 1987-1991 as leading engineer at A.I.Mikoyan EDB. Took part in flight testing MiG-21, MiG-23, MiG-25, MiG-27, MiG-29, MiG-29K and MiG-31 aircraft. Awarded with Lenin Order, Order of October Revolution, Honor Mark Order, medals.
Valery Eugenyevich Menitsky 1944-2008
Menitsky (2nd from left) with MIG-31
Valery Eugenyevich Menitsky was born in Moscow. Served in Army since 1961. In 1965 graduated from Tambov high military aviation school. Appointed there as pilot-instructor (till 1968). In 1969 graduated from Test-pilot school.
In 1969-1992 worked as test-pilot at A.I.Mikoyan EDB. Conducted testing and development of newest aircraft models.
He tested and flew on 65 aircraft types MiG-23, MiG-25, MiG-29, MiG-31 included. He made the first flights and tested MiG-27 and MiG-29 M planes.
Awarded with Lenin premium, Lenin and Honor Mark Orders, medals.
Boris Antonovich Orlov 1934-2000
Boris Antonovich Orlov was born in the town of Kansk, Krasnoyarsk Area. In 1952 he graduated from Novosibirsk aviation technical school, and in 1955 graduated from Central united flying-technical school of Voluntary Society of Assistance to Army, Aviation and Fleet (VCAAAF) in Saransk town. He worked as a pilot-instructor, navigator, flight section commander at Novosibirsk Aeroclub till 1963. He took part in the second world championship on aerobatic flying as a member of USSR combined team in Hungary (1962). Graduated form Test-pilot school in 1965 and MAI in 1970.
Between 1965-1987 he worked as test-pilot and in 1987 became a leading engineer of A.I.Mikoyan EDB. B.A. Orlov successfully conducted a number of important tests of supersonic jet aeroplanes MiG-21, MiG-23, MiG-25, MiG-27, MiG-29 and MiG-31 included.
Set one world aviation record.
Awarded with Orders of Lenin, October Revolution, Honor Mark, Labor Red Banner, medals.
Mikhail Mikhailovich Komarov 1937-1970
Born in Moscow. From 1954 he served in the Army,graduating from Armavir military aviation pilot school in 1956. He served in Air Force front-line units, between 1963-1965 he worked as a test-pilot of the Tbilissi aviation plant.
In 1965 he joined A.I.Mikoyan EDB as a test pilot and took part in testing MiG-21, MiG-23 and MiG-25 airplanes. He made the maiden flight of and tested the MiG-23U.
He set two world aviation records (one of them absolute). He was killed in a crash of a MiG-23 during a test flight. He was awarded the Medal of de Lavo (FAI) (1967).
Victor Vasilyevich Ryndin 1942-
Victor Vasilyevich Ryndin graduated from the Chernigov military aviation pilot school in 1965 and the graduated from Test-pilot school in 1971 and MAI in 1975.
Between 1971-1989 he worked as a test-pilot at A.I.Mikoyan EDB. He took part in testing MiG-23, MiG-25, MiG-27, MiG-29, MiG-31 aircraft and their versions. He tested aviation armament systems, navigational systems, electronic equipment. He tested over 70 aircraft types.
Awarded with Order of Labor Red Banner, Order of October Revolution, Honor Mark Order, medals.
Aleksandr Vasilyevich Fedotov 1932-1984
One of the leading test pilots of his era, Aleksandr Fedotov was a Major General in the Russian Airforce, he graduated from Flight School Stalingrad in 1950. He was a pilot in the airforce from 1950 to 1957,graduating from the Aravmir School for Military Pilots in 1952 and worked then as an instructor pilot.
In 1958 he graduated from testpilot school and worked for the OKB Mikoyan. In 1965 he worked for the Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI). Between 1961 and 1977 he achieved 18 world records, including three absolute records on E-166 and MiG-25-jets. He held since August 31, 1977 the world altitude record for planes that take off under their own power (123,524 feet).
Between 1976 and 1978 he was involved in the EPOS "Spiral"-Program. In 1977 he performed the maiden flight of the MiG-29. He died in a crash of a MiG-31 (together with V. S. Zaytsev) in 1984.
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
James Thomas Fitzgerald, Jr. 1920-1948
Herbert H. Hoover 1912-1948
After graduation from the
After three and a half years in
On another occasion, while he was firing a rocket-propelled model from a P-51 Mustang in a Mach 0.7 dive, the model disintegrated, showering the Mustang with wreckage. The wreckage punctured the plane's coolant tank, but again
Soon, he was put in charge of all flight operations and then became chief test pilot for the NACA at the Langley Memorial Laboratory, in
When the Air Force-NACA transonic flight research program began at the Muroc Flight Test Unit, California, Herb initiated the NACA flight operations of the Bell XS-1 (tail #6063) research airplane under Bell engineer, Robert Frost's careful tutelage in August 1947 and made his first NACA glide-familiarization flight on October 21, 1947, for stall check, (one week after Capt. Chuck Yeager became the first pilot to exceed the speed of sound in the AF XS-1, Tail # 6062). On
He received the Octave Chanute Award in 1948 for "contributions to the application of flight test procedures to basic research in aerodynamics, and the development of methods for scientific study of transonic flight." In 1949, he was awarded the Air Medal "for meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight on
Herb flew the XS-
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Joseph A. Cannon 1918-2007
Joe Cannon a native of Niagara Fall,NY was widely known throughout the American aerospace industry for his activities in flight research and marketing for Bell Aerosystems. He joined Bell in 1942 as a test pilot after civilian flight training at Niagara University and service with the RCAF as a flight instructor.
During his 22 years service with Bell, Joe Cannon had flown more than 50 types of aircraft,including the Bell X-1 Rocket research airplane. In addition to his service as a test pilot, he held several upervisory positions at Bell, including manager of flight operations at the B-29 plant in Marietta,Ga from 1943-1945,chief of flight test for the company from 1953 until 1957 and manager of aerospae marketing from 1960 until his appointment as manager of the expanded air-cushion vehicles marketing group.
Sqn Ldr G.E.C Eric Genders AFC DFM 1920-1950
George Eric Clifford Genders, legendary British fighter ace and test pilot. He was a graduate of the Empire Tests Pilots' School and later Commanding Officer of the RAE's Aero Flight. His untimely death in the crash of the tailless DH.108.was a major loss to British Aviation.
George Eric Clifford “Jumbo” Genders, who was born in Doncaster in 1920, enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in July 1939. Called up two months later, he undertook pilot training and was posted as a Sergeant to No. 245 Squadron in Northern Ireland. But in November 1940 he joined No. 73 Squadron and was embarked on an aircraft carrier for the West Coast of Africa, where, on arrival, he flew one of the Squadron’s Hurricanes over to Egypt. Then, having undertaken further training at No. 70 O.T.U., he was posted to No. 33 Squadron in Greece in early 1941.Genders proved himself to be an exceptional fighter pilot from the start, bringing down a Bf. 109, and damaging another, over Larissa in Greece in mid-April 1941, following a surprise dawn attack on his airfield by elements of II/JG 77. Such was the speed and ferocity of the German strike that the other two pilots of his stand-by Flight were both shot down and killed.
Soon afterwards, during a German raid on shipping in Piraeus, Genders claimed three Ju. 87s, although there appears to be some confusion over the exact date of the engagement - most probably it was 24 April, when three Stukas were reported missing and not claimed by any other pilots. It seems possible, too, that he brought down the Bf. 109 of Hauptmann Franz Lange, Kommandeur of II/JG 77, on his way home from Piraeus.His success continued apace over Crete. On the 3 May 1941, during a 25-strong enemy attack on shipping in Suda Bay, Genders claimed two Ju. 88s shot down and another brace damaged, statistics that won him the accolade of tenth most successful Allied pilot in this theatre of war.
Subsequently evacuated, No. 33 Squadron was reformed in Egypt, and afterwards heavily engaged over the Egyptian-Libyan border area, not least during Operations “Brevity”, “Battleaxe” and “Crusader”. For his own part, Genders shot down two Fiat G50s on 17 June, shared in the destruction of a Savoia SM79 on 22 November and damaged a Ju. 88 on the same date. And in between such combat successes, he flew on numerous ground-strafing sorties, once setting three enemy trucks alight with his very first burst of fire. A well merited D.F.M. was gazetted in April 1942, the same month in that he was commissioned as a Pilot Officer.Joining No. 103 Maintenance Unit at Aboukir in May 1942, Genders went on to serve as a test pilot on many aircraft types, a posting that met with his approval.
Among the projects assigned to Genders was a specially modified Spitfire V. The latter was stripped of all extraneous equipment and armed with only two .50-inch machine-guns, in order to reach sufficient altitude to engage the Lufwaffe’s Ju. 86Ps, hitherto unmolested reconnaissance aircraft that had pressurised crew quarters. No such luxury prevailed in Genders’ stripped-down Spitfire, where the temperature sometimes ‘dropped to 67 degrees below zero - 99 degrees of frost!’, or for his fellow pilots, Flying Officer G. W. H. Reynolds, D.F.C. and Pilot Officer Gold, the whole shortly to become known as “The Three Musketeers of Strato” for their gallant deeds ‘ten miles above earth’. Genders fought his first high altitude engagements in late June, damaging Ju. 86Ps on the 26th and 27th of the month, but it was not until 6 September that he was able to share in the actual destruction of such an aircraft.
Having accumulated a fine wartime record as a test pilot out in the Middle East, Genders attended the Empire Test Pilots’ School at Cranfield in January 1946. Subsequently posted as a Squadron Leader to the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough in May, he continued his good work, and was rewarded with an A.F.C. in the New Year Honours of 1949.
Latterly he was employed in testing the D.H. 108, the swept-wing research aircraft without horizontal tail surfaces and Britain’s first supersonic jet, also known as the “Flying Wing”, in order to assist ongoing research into the development of the Comet airliner.Only three such aircraft were ever built, one claiming the life of Geoffrey de Havilland, son of the famous aircraft manufacturer, when it exploded over the Thames Estuary in September 1946, and the other two, on being released into service, their respective R.A.F. pilots. Tragically, Genders was one of the latter, having got into trouble over Hartley Wintney in Hampshire on 1 May 1950. An eye-witness described how he saw the D.H. 108 ‘whirling head-over-heels and then windmilling, wing-tip over wing-tip ... like a sheet of paper caught in a sharp, unsteady breeze’. Another witness saw Genders bale out at around 200 feet, but ‘instead of falling clear he stopped several feet from the plane, and swung round apparently attached to it’