Chelomei Vladimir Nicolaevich: a secret designer. On the 95th anniversary.

June 30 this year General Designer of rocket and space technology of the USSR, Hero of Socialist Labor, laureate of Lenin and State Prizes of the USSR, Academy of Sciences of the USSR Vladimir Nikolaevich Chelomei would have turned 95 years old. In Soviet times, very few people know the true meaning and role in Chelomeya progress of science and technology, and it is clear - in fact he is destined to become the creator of the nuclear shield of the Soviet Union. Even state awards awarded scientist by secret decrees. The ice was broken only five years after his death. The world began to open its outstanding multi-faceted talent, This beautiful, extraordinary man, his outstanding multi-faceted talent started to be open to the world.  Touches to the portrait of the brilliant designer must be  added by  Ukraine - the land where Vladimir Chelomei educated, developed as a scholar and a person.

Childhood and  Kiev Universities

Vladimir Chelomei was born June 30, 1914, in Siedlec (near the town Chelomei) Privislyanskiy territory in Poland (then part of the Russian Empire) in a family of teachers.

During the First World War, the family moved to Poltava. There the family lived in the same house with the descendants of Gogol and Pushkin - the families Danilevsky and Bykov, which were often visited by O. Makarenko and V.Korolenko. Pushkin's great grandson Alexander Danilevsky - later known entomologist - became the best Vladimir's friend. Future designer grew and formed in an intelligent environment, played the piano, loved classical literature, read a lot of books  on the history of engineering and physics.

In 1926 the family moved to Kiev, where, after graduating  the  labor school in 1927 Vladimir entered  in Kiev automotive technical school. While studying, he got to the essence of things,  analyzed and summarized the results, simply and clearly taught them. The young man was assigned to lecture as before his classmates, as well as before the workers of  workshops and factories.

In 1932, eighteen year old Vladimir entered the aviation department of the Kiev Polytechnic Institute. A year later, the faculty stands out as an independent institution - Kyiv Aviation Institute named after K.E. Voroshilov (now the National Aviation University). Choice of KPI by the future designer was conscious and desirable, because there the famous Kiev aviation school was formed. To this time it had already given the world not only about 50 new designs of airplanes and helicopters, but also a whole galaxy of outstanding designers - Igor Sikorsky, Dmitry Grigorovich, Alexander Mikulin, Konstantin Kalinin, Leo Lyulev Archippus Lulka. It is in the KPI eight years before  the future space genius Sergei Korolyov was admitted.  Vladimir Chelomey will be first connected with him by the great joint deeds, and then disconnected by  the dramatically different professional positions and paths.

  From the first year Vladimir combined study in KPI with work as a technician-designer in the branch of the Research Institute of Civil Air Fleet. He attended lectures on mathematics at Kiev State University. He had heard  the course of lectures on mechanics and mathematics of Italian scientist T.Levi-Civita at the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR. His  favorite discipline - mechanics, and especially its section "vibration theory" - would become his passion for life. Inquisitive student communicates with Academician D.Grave known for his work on algebra, Applied Mathematics and Mechanics; Leningrad academician O.Krilovi, the famous shipbuilder, a specialist in non-linear mechanics, numerical methods and the theory of vibrations, outstanding mathematicians and mechanics I.Shtaerman and N.Ahiezer.

In the second year, Vladimir wrote his first scientific paper in which he outlined an original method for calculating the purge air two-stroke engines with unit vector calculus. And already in 1936 in Kiev publishing house "Ukrgizmestprom" the first book V.Chelomeya "Vector Calculus" was published - a short course of vector analysis with many examples of practical applications in mechanics.

The summer of 1935 during practice at the Zaporozhye Engine Plant named after P.Baranov young student used his deep knowledge of the theory of vibrations. The plant was incapable to make a serial production one of the modifications of the piston aircraft engine of BMW-6, which production license was purchased abroad. One of the sections of the crankshaft permanently destroyed when was applyed by the regulatory burden. Naturally, the plant engineers have tried to strengthen the "weak link" by increasing the thickness of the shaft. And Vladimir suggested not thicken, but rather to alleviate the knee shaft to bring the system out of the resonance zone. This paradoxical recommendation  became the solution to the problem. After that, the student of the Kiev was invited to lecture on the dynamics of structures for the plant engineers.

In 1937, a year ahead of his classmates, Vladimir Chelomei received an engineering degree with honors. He was invited to the Institute of Mathematics, Ukrainian Academy of Sciences in  Kiev, where he works on the theme of "Dynamic stability of elastic systems." In the years 1937-1938 he published 14 scientific articles and in 1939 defended his thesis on "Dynamic Stability of aircraft structural elements" before the Scientific Council of the Kiev Polytechnic Institute.

In 1940, among the 50 best young scientists in the USSR he was taken to a special doctoral studies at the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. 26-year-old Chelomei was  the youngest in the fifty elected. The subject of his doctoral thesis: "Dynamic stability and strength of the elastic chain of an aircraft engine" was approved. He received the Stalin stipend of 1,500 rubles, a considerable sum in those days. For comparison - professor at the University received 1,200 rubles.

Daughter of Vladimir Nikolayevich - Evgenia says: "Immediately after admission to the doctoral her father was called by Beria and was invited to become a resident of Soviet intelligence in Germany, because there was a shortage of technical intelligence of high-class. Given the arguments that he will be more useful at home as a scientist and designer, the father refused, what was then dangerous. Beria, who was not used to the objections, nonetheless adopted the arguments an in the future did not pursue Vladimir Nikolaevich. "

Spring of 1941, a young scientist finished work on his doctoral dissertation and successfully defended it in the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR. But the plans were changed by  the war. The documents  did not reach the Higher Attestation Commission of the USSR. June 22, 1941 Vladimir Chelomeya was urgently summoned to Moscow to continue work at the Central Institute of Aviation Motors named after P.Baranov (CIAM).

General Designer

The main purpose of the new appointment Chelomey was to create a pulsating jet engine for combat cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles and fighter jets. The idea of such an engine that works without a compressor pressurized air was   nurtured by Chelomei during his student practice at the Zaporozhye Engine Plant. In autumn 1942 a powerful exhaust, similar to the sound of cannon fire, which came from the territory of the CIAM (now - metro area "Aviamotornaja") reported the establishment of the world's first engine of this type.

In June 1944, it was reported on the use by the German army jet aircraft missiles "V-1" against England. The result of applying this weapon shocked. In just a few hours 23,000 homes were destroyed, 18 thousand  people were injured, 7000  were killed. Soon  Churchill sent a gift to Stalin - downed V-1. It turned out to be the engine, similar to the previously invented  by Chelomey. In response to the decision of the National Defense Commission, and by order of the People's Commissar of the aviation industry to Vladimir O.Shahurin Chelomey was tasked to create a new weapon - an unmanned cruise missile. For this, he was appointed chief designer and director of the plant OKB (special design bureau)-52 in Reutovo in the  Moscow suburbs, now  SPA(science production association) "Engineering".

In a fantastically short time - less than six months - dozens of rocket projectiles were been tested. At first they were launched from  the bomber Pe-8, and later - from the TU-2. 10X combat cruise missile was accepted into service in early 1945, which was an asymmetric response to the V-1 and provided substantial moral and tactical advantage of the Red Army in the final stage of the war.

In April 1944 Vladimir Chelomeya was summoned to Stalin for advice about the possibility to suppress Berlin by cruise missiles before storm. Chelomei categorically rejected this scenario because of  the large concentration of civilians and the presence of prominent historical monuments in Berlin. According to him, "the consequences of a human scale could be catastrophic." Stalin listened to the young designer.

After the victory  Vladimir continued to work on cruise missiles with pulsating engines, returned to active science duty. In 1951, he defended his doctoral thesis: "Dynamic stability of the circuit elements of an aircraft engine" before  the Academic Council of the Moscow Higher Technical School (MHTS) named after  N.Bauman. In 1952 he was awarded the title of professor, in 1958 was elected a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, and in 1962 - a full member. For the best work on the theory of aviation in 1964 Chelomei was awarded the Gold Medal  N.Zhukovskogo, and in 1977 - Gold Medal  A.Lyapunov - the highest award of the USSR Academy of Sciences for outstanding work in the field of mathematics and mechanics. In 1974 the scientist was elected a member of the International Academy of Astronautics.

In science V.Chelomey remained faithful to his beloved mechanics problems associated with mechanical vibrations. In 1960 in Moscow State Technical Universit he founded the department of "Aerospace", where he began his research and teaching school  of rocket and space mechanics.

His school solves many problems of the dynamics of complex composite structures, develops methods for calculating aeroelastic vibrations of structures in turbulent vortex flow, studies the behavior of the rocket with the strong seismic impact of air in the silo launcher, develops methods for analysis and design of control systems and stabilization of elastic aircraft.

  Most of the works of Vladimir Nikolaevich, which have had military significance, were classified. But even some openly published works show their extreme importance. For example, in the seminal work published in 1983, "Paradoxes in mechanics caused by vibrations" Chelomei considered strange effects associated with the action of high-frequency vibrations of the physical body. It is theoretically proved that the mechanics of the vibrating system are the most stable and illustrated a number of unique experiments. Thus, under certain conditions, a ball of foam was drowning in the water, and the metal nut floats to the surface, a solid body from the effects of vibration transition to a state similar to weightlessness.

Working at the Department of "Aerospace" in Moscow State Technical University of M. Baumann, Chelomei paid great attention to training specialists for space-rocket complex. Commenting on this component of its activities, Vladimir said, "In this respect, it is important not to miss talents. Sometimes, listening to the thoughts of a man surprising statements, we can find talent, and of these talents can leave outstanding people, and for the outstanding people - who knows, maybe, and geniuses are. Find such a man - it is more important than finding a diamond or any other precious stone. "

o lecture Chelomei invited academics E.Fedosov, V.Kovalev, deputy chief designer of OKB-52 V. Modestov, V.Samoylov and others leading specialists of the enterprise. Vladimir himself personally trained five doctors and 44 candidates of sciences. He brilliantly taught a course on the theory of oscillations and stability of complex dynamical systems, investing in a purely mathematical discipline of great physical significance. Feature of scientific and pedagogical school V.Chelomeya who was the personification of the great figure of the scientist, a talented teacher and an outstanding engineer, is closely related to fundamental sciences, theoretical research and practice. He had an extraordinary gift of scientific prediction.

These factors contributed to the appointment V.Chelomeya in 1959 the chief designer of Soviet aviation technology. The company, which he led, changed the subject: started to  work on the peace space and at the same time to develop space weapons for the Strategic Missile Forces (by special decree in December of the same year).

Among the new weapons created by Chelomey in those days, a special place is occupied by missiles with spread wings - the pride of  even modern Russia. The wings of a such  missile are folded, it is placed in a container and when shooted , trigger springs  open wings. This greatly increased the combat readiness of the rocket and let the compact place it in the starting cylindrical container, the size of which was not much greater than the rocket. Such a container is placed freely as on a submarine, and wheeled or crawler. In addition, air-tight container filled with nitrogen, which protected the missile from the external environment. The idea was implemented in cruise missiles P-5 adopted in 1959.

  Enormous contribution   made  by ​​V.Chelomey  increased the combat capability of submarine and surface naval fleet of the USSR.  Chelomey developments constitute 80% of the arms of the fleet. In 1956 he began to develop the first remote-controlled anti-ship cruise missiles (ASM) P-6, which starts from the submarine surfaced and is flying at an altitude of about 100 m above the water, virtually eliminating its detection by means of radar. Rocket P-35 differed from the P-6 by reduced the length due to reducing the size of the main engine. The world's first underwater missile launch was made  by the cruise missile "Amethyst", the development of which began in the OKB-52 in 1959. With the development of anti-ship and anti-submarine defense of the probable enemy it appeared  the need to create long-range cruise missiles "Granit", which starts from the water on board the nuclear-powered submarine. Development of the "Granite" began July 10, 1969 in accordance with the with the government of the USSR.

In the late 1970s, all of these solutions were taken into service in the Soviet Union. Submarines and surface naval fleet of the country must be armed with cruise missiles V.Chelomey, the likes of which was not there, none of the fleet of the world: P-5D, C-5 (land option for coastal defense), P-6, P -35, "Amethyst" and "Granite". The high level of development Chelomeya evidenced by the fact that on a nuclear submarine K-141 "Kursk" sank in the Barents Sea Aug. 12, 2000, there were 22 cruise missiles "Granit". They proved to be so reliable, did not detonate as a result of on-board fires and explosions.

The contribution Chelomeya was very big in the development of the Soviet space program too. His  first space-based developments of 1963-1964 include satellites fighters "Flight-1" and "Flight-2" which can maneuver in orbit, changing the height and angle of the orbital plane, and scientific satellite "Proton-1." Created in 1965 under his leadership rocket "Proton" sent into space heavy machines all manned orbital station "Salyut" and "Mir", a large number of geostationary communication satellites and scientific modules. "Proton", despite his nearly 45-year-old age, is putting the satellites into orbit today. More than 300 launches of the missile were realized in total.

It is in the design bureau headed by Vladimir Nikolaevich  the idea of ​​creating a long-term orbital station, a kind of "space house", which became the basis for all future manned space stations' Salyut "and" Mir " was born.

The work, executed in 1973-1976 years  to establish permanent military stations under the program "Almaz" - "Salyut-2", "Salyut-3" and "Salyut-5"  was led  by V.Chelomey. Fantastic space weapons, satellites killer, spy satellites, which can be seen in the Hollywood blockbuster "Space War", were actually implemented in the 1980s as part of this program. In 1981,  one of the elements of the "Diamond" - a universal transport supply ship "Kosmos-1267" docked with the station "Salyut-6", resulting in an orbital complex mass of about 40 tons. Then the launch vehicle "Space -1443 "and" Kosmos-1686 " were held, which served as the space truck, interorbital powerful tugs and specialized modules. To control these devices in space Chelomei created at the enterprise even a group of astronauts, which included his son, Sergei.

There are between the most famous  Chelomey designs  powerfull space weapons strategic purpose: two stage intercontinental ballistic missile ICBM ICBM UR-100N (SS-19), adopted into service in 1975 (with a stand-alone device scatter warheads and improved accuracy of the guidance), and its improved option - the missile UR-100N UTTKh ("Stiletto"), adopted by the service in 1980, with the head part, equipped with six warheads. Rocket "Stiletto" has been extremely reliable, ensuring its operation for over 25 years instead of ten, established during development.

Weaning from space

The constant pursuit of new ways was inherent to V.Chelomey. He  with his ideas and proposals had often found himself in the role of the troublemaker of design organizations and management of the defense complex of the USSR. It moved things forward, but also prevented the scientist not only to implement a number of interesting projects, but also to work.

Dramatic chapter in the life of Vladimir Nikolaevich was his confrontation with other prominent scientist of the twentieth century - S. Korolyov. Both were outstanding personalities and powerful leaders, who did not recognize any authority. Both fate brought in one grand affair - the conquest of space and the creation of Soviet strategic weapons. These circumstances, as well as non-constructive actions of some military leaders have caused intense competition and even confrontation between the two luminaries.

Rehabilitated in the summer of 1945 Sergei Korolev began work on asymmetric response to the German V-2 rocket. This rocket was far superior V-1: flew ten times faster and overcame a half times greater distance. In 1950, Korolev creates its own ballistic missile, which in the same year was adopted  into service. Chelomey analogue of V-1 military ceased to be actual for military. They write a memo to Stalin on the unpromising work Chelomey and even accused him of exaggeration. The design bureau was removed from  the constructor , he faced a long prison sentence. In February 1953 he went to Stalin. According Chelomey " everything was at stake. Extreme stress. But I had one advantage: I was young. "From the office of Chief of Chelomey comes with a victory. And immediately going into the field, where he was long lying on the frozen ground. It was another invention of the designer - in the fateful moments give excessive strain to the earth.

A month later, Stalin died. The CPSU Central Committee selected Khrushchev as its First Secretary. Khrushchev recalled how at one time Stalin ordered him to "deal" with a dreamer. This was the cause of a series of meetings with the First Secretary of the young designer. During one of them  Chelomei told Khrushchev about the idea of ​​a rocket with spread wings. Khrushchev, sensitive to everything new, supported the idea. Tests  of the new missile in 1958 showed that it starts in a few minutes, while the analogue missiles - projectiles need to do this for half an hour. After that success,  V.Chelomey got the support at all levels of government.

There is a lot of speculation about the commitment Khrushchev  to Chelomey was due to the fact that  the  First Secretary  son- Sergey Mykytovych worked at OKB-52. But, given the high self-criticism of Khrushchev and increased demands to his environment, this support can be attributed only to the talent of the designer and faith in him. Equally supported Khrushchev and other creators of rocket and space technology - S. Korolyov, M.Yangel, V.Glushko. Secretary General, encouraging competition between them, did not admit to this competition to be  turned into a war between designers.

In 1964 when Khrushchev was removed from all positions , a real space-rocket war broke out in the country. Therefore, hard times came for Chelomey. Frequent inspections and audits came continually in DB, there were also complications with the Military-Industrial Commission. Personally D.Ustinov became outspoken opponent Chelomey. Even in these difficult conditions V.Chelomey achieves universal start of the first intercontinental ballistic missile with a simplified silo launcher UR-200, which by its characteristics still does not yield to the same missiles the United States.

The next phase of confrontation Chelomeya and Queen has been associated with the conquest of the moon. The discussion arose about the rocket, which must launch the lunar module - Korolyov's carrier rocket  M-1 or Chelomey's "Proton". A special commission of experts headed by Academician M.Keldysh was appointed to resolve the situation. It  consisted of representatives of the Ministry of Defence, design bureaus and the Academy of Sciences. Most of its members supported S. Korolyov.

V.Chelomey was very independent and proud man, he never bowed to no one. He did not visited the meetings of the commission, but if did the phrase: "If you do not want to help, then at least do not interfere" was heard from him. As  the witnesses of those events recalled, "Keldysh was extremely principled man, whose business interests were higher departmental interests or even the interests of his friendship with many famous people." As a result of the commission's work, M.Keldysh, despite his friendship with S. Korolyov, rose up in defense of the project Chelomey, prophetically anticipating the future and an outstanding role rocket "Proton" in space.

It was a fateful decision, because later the carrier "Proton" provided tremendous advances USSR in the development of the Moon, Venus, Mars, and the establishment and operation of the orbital station "Mir".

In 1980  the development of the automatic station "Almaz" with a radar on board was finished. The station had no analogues in the world. The launch of  a similar station in this class was implemented only in 1987 under the name "Cosmos-1970". Later, American experts have recognized - if Chelomey would led the moon landing program, Soviet cosmonauts  would make a walk on the surface of Earth's natural satellite before the american ones.

Chelomei tried to carry out another dream - to create reusable space vehicle. One of the projects of the 1970s - winged spacecraft with the crew carried out to orbit by vehicle "Proton", as a result of the numerous obstacles on the part of certain leaders of the military complex of the USSR  has remained unrealized.

In 1979  another tough stage in the life of chief designer and his company begun. Chelomey experienced pressure and limitations of his activities  by the management of defense industries, led by D.Ustinov. After closing the manned program the attack begun on space development SPA"Engineering" at all. Fully prepared for flight in July 1981 the first automatic station "Almaz-T" for all-weather sensing and radar Earth does not get permission to run. The station will remain under the cover at the landfill, where will lie about six years.

In 1981 D.Ustinov said about Chelomey: "He starts to be very independent." And on 19 December this year the CPSU Central Committee and the USSR Council of Ministers ruling was released, which in fact prohibited all SPA "Engineering" activity on space matters. This happened Chelomey weaning from the space.

These tests Chelomey tolerated extremely painful, but did not give up and still hoped to defend the country needs projects. In 1983  a fundamentally new type of anti-ship cruise missiles for  long range nuclear submarines of the new generation, which formed the core of the shock power of the Soviet Navy, was successfully created. The new missile cruisers were armed with the same weapons. In the early 1980s, a new unified design a cruise missile was unfolded, which should be a massive weapon of ships of the Soviet Navy.

* * *

The  work of Vladimir Nikolaevich Chelomey was happy and at the same time dramatic. According to a member of the group Chelomey cosmonauts Valery Romanov, "Chelomey fully felt, which is sometimes defenseless is the powerful design idea to the whim of an elderly member of the Politburo, before  arrogance  the marshal, before envy of fellow."

December 8, 1984, V.Chelomeya died. He was full of ideas and creative plans. His last cosmic ideas have been implemented without him. Heavy satellites "Cosmos-1870" and "Almaz-1A" weighing 18.5 tons with a complex radar was put into orbit in 1987 and 1991 accordingly - for the purpose of remote sensing of the Earth. Many space projects Chelomeya are used to this day.

Return to immortality

For a long time the name of Vladimir Nikolaevich Chelomey was virtually unknown. Opening it, constantly asking: "what number" in the former Soviet rocket  industry Chelomey should be considered. In the constellation of five luminaries of  rocket and space technology - Korolev, V.Chelomey, L.Lyuleva, M.Yangel, V.Glushko (the first three were from the CPI) - a special place is for Chelomey. If they were all engineers from God with colossal scientific intuition and the ability of scientific and technological foresight, the Chelomei first was an outstanding scientist and analyst, a talented teacher, and then the designer. Khrushchev remembers, "In his developments Chelomei came not from design to the science, but from the science to design." Nine out of every ten of products developed by the design team Chelomeya had no analogues in the world.

Commending the work of V.Chelomeya as an outstanding scientist and designer, we can say that in the apogee of a nuclear confrontation between the NATO bloc and the Warsaw Pact dangerous weapons, created by Chelomey, has become an important factor in achieving a balance of power between the warring parties, which ensured stabilization of the geopolitical situation in the world as well as the adoption of a number of peace initiatives.

However, his services are not limited to only strengthen the country's defense. Through the creation of new defensive systems he made a huge impact on the overall technical progress. Development of new technologies in mechanical engineering, materials science, instrumentation, many other industries have given significant results, and for the production of civilian goods.

 Received outstanding victories in space, Vladimir Chelomey wanted to meet with his American counterparts, with whom subconsciously competed all his life. He wanted to see  a big and beautiful world that he knew only from pictures of his spy satellites. He wanted to visit a small Polish town Chelomei and possibly find his relatives. This town is so small that it is not on the map of Europe and the world. No name on the map Chelomei and the former Soviet Union, authority and glory which he raised to the space height.

In the museum Kiev Polytechnic, where V.Chelomey began his studies,  formed as a designer and scientist, and where he defended his thesis, his portrait hangs in the place of honor among the above luminaries of Aviation and Astronautics, former Kyiv Polytechnic. Over 50 thousand visitors, especially young people visited every year the Chelomey exposition in the museum. Students of the Faculty of aviation and space systems KPI study Chelomey original technical solutions that have become classics. The best of these students obtain the  personal scholarship named after outstanding designer.

Michael Zgurovsky, Academician of NAS of Ukraine, Rector of NTUU "KPI", "Mirror of the Week» № 28 (756) 1 - August 7, 2009