The origins of the Ukrainian aviation

December 17, 2003 was one hundred years from the time when the brothers Orvill and Wilbur Wright made the first manned flight on the airplane engine "Flayer -1". The range of the first flight was 37 meters and it lasted 12 seconds. That brief flight opened a new era in human history.

Perhaps it was the time for the aircraft development. Most of the Wright brothers first held the championship in that process. In late 1904 they were able to keep the plane in the air for 5 minutes and in 1905 they flew 39 miles in 38 minutes describing circles over the airfield. In 1906 they received a patent for theirs invention but only in 1908 the world learned about their outstanding achievements .

Meanwhile, new countries and people were included in the development of aviation. The relevant works were also in Russia in those times and to a large extent on the territory of Ukraine. We can be proud that the beginning of the history of Soviet aviation was closely associated with Kiev Polytechnic Institute which in the strictest sense of this word has become a true place of the great new things.

One century ago the first issue of professionals who have completed a full course of Kyiv Polytechnic Institute was made. The new higher technical educational institution immediately declared itself due to the high quality of its graduates. Dmytryi I. Mendeleev said that in 35 years of his teaching activities he has not seen in other schools such complete set of theoretical knowledge and practical skills as the first graduates of the Kiev Polytechnic. They really made a significant contribution to the development of a wide variety of equipment spheres. There was no exception about the aircraft which rapidly developed in the early XX century.

So happened that it was the end of the 19th century the time of formation of Kiev Polytechnic Institute was also an important milestone in the history of aviation. The main goal of those who were directly involved in the formation and development of the aircraft was flying at exercise apparatus heavier than air. At that time such an employment was seen as a fun of individual enthusiasts. But then the aircraft with a curiosity turned into a very important technical and social phenomenon which it soon became. The important role was played by Kyiv Polytechnic Institute in solving its problem in spreading the ideas of aviation in Ukraine.

It`s opening took place in 1898. Then the institute had four faculties: mechanical, chemical, engineering construction and agriculture. And in 1899 it started a movement for the creation of the fifth who led one of the largest aviation enthusiasts professor Nikolai A. Artemyev , very talented student of Nikolai E. Zhukovskyi. On his initiative in 1905-1906 Aero Section in Mechanical association by KPI was organised. The first honorary chairman of the section was professor Stepan P. Tymoshenko and its vice-chairman was a student of mechanical department Viktoryn F. Bobrov. In November 1908 the section was reorganized in Aeronautic group with airplanes, helicopters departments, engines and ornithopters .

Aleksandr S. Kudashev Already in the years 1907-1908 professor Artemyev conducted experiments with a model of "pit - propeller" which was a steel flywheel on the vertical axis with fixed blades on it returning. Winter 1908-1909 professor Artemyev with the famous aviator Boris Delone experienced a large gliders` model (with a wingspan of up to 3 meters) running them with a powerful catapult spring of rolling buffer. After Nikolai Artemyev together with KPI professor Alexander S. Kudashev took part in the construction of the first in Kyiv airframe and aircraft.

Passionate ideas aviation advocate and gliding was KPI professor Nikolai B. Delone the son of aviation pioneer Boris Delone. In 1896 he began systematic experiments with model gliders in New Alexandria near Warsaw where he headed the department at the Institute of Agriculture. Since 1906 with the inception of the Aeronautic Section in KPI, Nikolai Delone became the undisputed leader of the section and then the Kyiv Aeronautic Society one of the organizers of what was just said. That was the first in the south of Russia air cell united not only known at the time professors, engineers and designers, but also KPI students which were in the forefront of those who paved the way to the sky.

Society members listened to the lectures of KPI professors and the University of St. Vladimir themselves acted with abstracts and papers on aircraft, built and tested a model flying, kites and gliders. Quite successful flying models were built by student Yerhand. Students Adler and Sawickii conducted experiments with a glider attached to a bicycle. Later members of the group have built one of the first in Russia towing gliders.

At the end of 1908 professor Nikolai E. Zhukovskyi came to visit Kiev. In the building of the Merchants' Assembly (now Kiev Philharmonic) he delivered a public lecture "The success of aeronautics" which screened at the film shots aviation chronicles. At the request of students and with the consent of professor Nikolai Zhukovskyi that lecture Delone repeated in great physical audience in KPI. Later professor Delone repeatedly lectured about aeronautic and gliding in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Poltava, Uman, Katerinoslavle, Elisavetgrad, Moscow, Oreli and Vilnius.

Delaunay In spring 1909 professor Delone with his children and teachers KPI Hanytskym and Harfom built their first glider. It was a biplane with equalizer controls. Later, professor Delone built three gliders.

In 1909 professor Delone led the Aeronautic Section in KPI which joined 200 enthusiasts. He has developed and taught courses on aeronautics. The society members have studied the theoretical foundations and techniques of aircraft tried to build gliders and airplanes. Among these students of KPI were future aviators Sikorsky , Bylinkin, Karpeka, Adler and others .

February 3, 1910 at the Kiev branch of the Imperial Russian Technical Society a meeting of Kyiv Aeronaut Society was hold where the engineer Harf and KPI teacher Panytskyi made an interesting message.

An important role in the propaganda of aviation and aeronautics played an exhibition of Kyiv Aeronaut Society. In January 1911 in the premises of the Public Library the first aeronautical exhibition was opened. With the proposed exhibits the most attractive was the KPI student`s monoplane Igor Sikorskyi where the designer has managed to carry out test flights.

In Kyiv Aeronaut Society was created the largest number of Russian aircraft designers. During the period from 1909 to 1912 the Kiev enthusiasts have created about 40 different types of aircraft and it was more than in any other city in Russia. And almost all were created by students and professors of KPI.

Names of Kiev aviation enthusiasts became known far beyond Ukraine and Kyiv and Dmitryi Grigorovich , Pyotr Nesterov, Sikorskyi were famous all over the world.

Their experimental aircraft constructions and repairments the designers carried in Kiev Polytechnic Institute in their handicraft workshops at the airport in a small hangar and repairment of aircraft engaged in KPI air workshop.

June 5, 1910 in Kyiv Syretskyi racetrack was hosted the first flight of the Russian aircraft produced (except engine) with local materials. Alexander S. Kudashev built a plane and flew on it. Kudashev was a railroad engineer served as extraordinary professor at KPI Department of stability structures. After participating in the Reims Aviation week in France (1909) and the flight of aviator Efimov in Nice he seriously was interested in creating a new type of aircraft. Although later Alexander Kudashev finished development activities and his contribution to the national aircraft industry cannot be overemphasized.

Igor I. Sikorskyi One of the most colorful figures in Kyiv School of aircraft was a world-renowned designer of outstanding Igor Sikorskyi ( 1889 1972rr . ). In autumn 1907 he entered the KPI where he studied until 1911. He became one of the most active participants in the helicopter section of Kyiv Aeronaout Society headed by one of the brothers Kasyanenko - Andrei Ivanovich . In summer 1908 Sikorskyi began to develop his first helicopter and in 1909 he began its construction. Unfortunately, the first helicopter was unable to rise into the air. Taking into account the results of the tests in spring 1910 Sikorskyi created the second helicopter. And it also has not been able to rise into the air.

Igor Sikorskyi began creating his first airplane along with helicopter testing in 1910. His efforts he joined with the son of Kyiv merchant Fyodor I. Bylinkinym who already had some experience in that matter. Biplane was called BIS № 1 (Bylinkin, Jordan, Sikorskyi). Then it was rebuilt into the plane BIS № 2 where June 3, 1910 in the presence of Stewards of Kyiv Aeronaut Society Sikorskyi performed successful flight in a straight length of 182 m at a height of 1.2 m length of 12 s. Later it was made about 50 flights at a height of 10 m but with a short duration.

On the next plane C-3 I. Sikorskyi passed an examination for the rank of pilot aviator during the flight he performed five "eights" in the air and landed safely. Russian Imperial Flying Club on behalf of the International Aeronautical Federation gave him a pilot's license at № 64. At the general meeting of the Imperial Russian Technical Society January 21, 1912 Igor I. Sikorskyi was awarded by the Council of Society Medal "for useful work in aeronautics and independent development of the airplane's own system which gave the excellent results.

In April 1912 Russo-Baltic Wagon Plant bought exclusive rights to the biplane C-6A of Igor Sikorskyi and invited him to the post of chief designer of the aviation department the latest was relocated in the same year from Riga to St. Petersburg. The technical staff of the new department made up mainly of Kiev designers who moved to St. Petersburg at the invitation of Sikorskyi.

Summer 1913 world's first four - engine aircraft rose up into the sky are created by a former KPI student I. Sikorskyi. Later, in St. Petersburg its modifications were created heavy aircrafts "Ilya Muromets". Foreign experts were forced to admit that Russia has become the leading power in the air.

After leaving the U.S. Igor Sikorskyi developed more than 65 different designs of aircrafts. Since 1939 and until his death he designed and built helicopters and one of the best in the world.

The number of founders of Ukrainian aviation fair includes Yevgen, Gregory, Andrew and Ivan Kasyanenko brothers. After the establishment of KPI Aeronaut Section Yevgen I. Kasyanenko headed "airplane" section and Andrey K. "Helicopter". Besides the scientific and organizational work they made huge number of activities. During the period from 1910 to 1921 brothers established six aircrafts some of them were very original in pattern and design. It is worth mentioning the plane "Kasyanenko-4 " was a monoplane with the engine low power. Yevgen Kasyanenko especially promoted the idea of a low-power aircraft to be widely used. In addition to the construction of aircrafts brothers Kasyanenko were developing propellers that during the World War I they produced commercially in aviation workshops KPI.

A notable figure in the development of aviation in Kiev was Dmitryi P. Grigorovich - later known as a Soviet aircraft constructor. While studying in KPI in 1908-1909 he was interested in aviation and decided to build his own plane in Polytechnic Institute .

In 1912 another KPI student Jordan started to build by his own single-seater - bimonoplan under engine "Hakka" with a power of 35 hp. Due to the constant lack of funds the work moved slowly and at the end of 1913 completely stopped .

The beginning of World War greatly influenced the development of aviation including KPI. "Section of Aeronautics" stoped working and the majority of its members were mobilized in aviation units. But since 1915 KPI again began working in the field of aviation. Almost the whole first floor of the right wing of the main building even in the corridors and partly in the auditorium (part of it was damaged by fire) unfolding KPI avia workshops mainly intended to repair captured aircraft. Near mechanical workshops restored "Aerogarage" designed for plane assembly. There was built such an aircraft as "Albatross" and new designs were created. It must be mentioned that KPI workshops were specialized on the mass production of screws by their own design. Propellers called "Brothers Kasyanenko". They were widely used in military aircraft and were more sophisticated then the French one. These screws have developed a great attraction which increased the speed. War Department ordered them in large quantities for the needs of the army.

Sborochnyi shop -1925 Since 1920 led by energetic rector Viktoruna F. Bobrova Substantial restructuring began in KPI with important changes in the educational process the retooling material resources of the Institute, economy upgrading. In 1921 the main building at the assembly hall got Laboratory of engines and aircraft building which would become a training and production base for the introduction of the mechanical department in KPI. It was established at the initiative of professor V. Bobrova. In1922 the work of avia section was resumed and next year turned into Aviation Scientific and Technical Society. Those KPI students who have shown themselves as the active members of the society could enter the avia specializations that required during the last two trimesters of study a variety of courses and implementation of the project. Later in KPI was organized the Aviation Department.

In 1933 the Aviation Department in KPI was converted to Kyiv Aviation Institute and now the National Aviation University. But KPI did not stop to put their hand in the development of aviation. Many of the graduates of KPI as before each in their own way moved forward Aerospace series. In 1932 Vladimir Chelomei entered the aviation department KPI upcoming general designer of space rockets who have graduated from Kyiv Aviation Institute.

Traditions in creating heavy aircraft initiated I. Sikorskyi and were continued by another KPI graduated student - Konstantin Kalinin . As a student of KPI in 1922 he created the first production passenger aircraft K-1 on Kiev plant "Remvozduh 6". Serially produce of aircraft began in Kharkiv. There was established the Kharkov aircraft plant. Passenger aircraft K-4 and K-5 for nearly twenty years have been the main passenger aircraft of the Soviet Union. Unfortunately in 1938 the engineer Kalinin was wrongly arrested.

KPI was the first step in a big way of Sergei P. Korolyov. Studying in KPI from 1926 to 1928 years Sergei Korolyov finished glider aerobatics instructor courses, built glider KPIR 3. Exactly on the student's desk in KPI he first became acquainted with the works of K. Tsiolkovskyi and a great idea hatched the designer of jet propulsion which he further developed so successfully.

KPI student was Alexander A. Mikulin a known maker of aircraft engines. His engine was equipped with a plane on which legendary pilot Chkalov and Gromov made the flight over the North Pole then the Mikulin`s engines raised in the air the plane "Maxim Gorkyi". During the Great Patriotic IL-2 and bomber Pe-8 were equipped by Mikulin`s engines and in peacetime the passenger jet airliner Tu-104.

In 1931 Arkhyp M. Lyulka received KPI bachelor. He was another famous designer of aircraft engines, twice Hero of Socialist Labor. That was his idea and the practical implementation of turbo-jet engine which has received the widest application.

Glorious traditions of avia building were inherent in the Kiev Polytechnic in the early twentieth century and continued during the subsequent history.

ANTC Antonov In famous ANTC named by Antonov has been running for a long time by a large number of KPI graduates. With that enterprise related activities of a number of university departments. So just for participating in the development and launch of space plane "Buran" university scientists received the State Prize of the USSR. State Prize of the USSR in 1989 marked the cycle of development of KPI creation of satellite telecommunications for the Ministry of Defense.

The result of active research and practice was in the revival of KPI avia specializations in avia modeling. In 1989 the Ministry of Education in Ukraine instructed the Department of Theoretical Mechanics trained engineers in "spacecraft and boosters". The first set was made on Mechanical Engineering Department.

Soon in 1993 it was reconstructed on the basis of the new department of aviation and space systems. The Department instrumentation and control systems aircraft, theoretical mechanics of the faculty, department of devices and systems orientation and navigation, the department of optical and opto-electronic devices Instrument faculty at the Institute for Telecommunication Systems prepare highly qualified specialists for the aerospace industry in Ukraine and conducted extensive research. Gyroscopic instruments, systems management and control, telecommunication communication tools were some of the main areas of scientific papers.

The aviation traditions in KPI are still successfully continue. However, the Ukrainian aviation has strong research and production capability. About 40 high-tech enterprises and organizations of Ukraine unites aerospace, five higher education institutions are still preparing professionals for it.

The basis of national aviation structure became Aviation Scientific - Technical Complex named by O. Antonov. Established in 1946 it now has more than 20 types of original passenger, military transport and special aircraft and about 100 modifications of aircraft. Widely known for the world's biggest airplane AN-225 ("Mriya"). Increasingly expanding field of Antonov titans AN-124 ("Ruslan"). Recently ANTC named by Antonov has treated the military transport aircraft AN-70 short take-off and landing. One of the most promising applications of ANTC was the production of new cargo-passenger aircraft AN-140 which was significantly cheaper than its counterparts in other countries.

Ukrainian aircraft factories turned into a powerful modern aviation enterprises. Kharkiv production company produced the aircraft AN-74 and its modifications and AN-140, and the Kyiv Aviation Plant "Aviant" that built AN-32B and AN-32P.

The aircraft being built in Ukraine equipped with domestic engines. They were designed by Zaporozhye DD "Progres" which was founded in 1930. These engines produced Zaporozhye enterprise "Motor Sich". It produces, testing, maintenance and repair operation 55 modifications economic and reliable engines for more than 60 types of aircraft and helicopters for various purposes. In Ukraine there are 26 DD and factories which process and produce all necessary avionics.

Thus, Ukraine is one of the few countries in the world with a full cycle of processing, production and operation of advanced aircraft. Today, National Technical University of Ukraine "Kyiv Polytechnic Institute" which this year celebrated the centenary of the first issue of its graduates is proud that its teachers and students laid the foundation of aviation power of our country.

M.Z. Zgurovskyi, Rector of NTUU "KPI"