Oleksii Mykolaiovych Hratsianskyi (1905 - 1987)

Aircraft designer, Hero of the Soviet Union, test pilot of the first class, PhD in Geography.

He was born in Kiev and spent his childhood and adolescence there. He worked as a disciple of a repairer-fitter at the "Rempovitrya-6" factory. It was the newly created aircraft repair company. Its first head was Viktoryn Bobrov, the then rector of Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute and the famous aircraft expert. Now it is the State enterprise “Kiev factory "Aviant"”. In 1921 Oleksiy became a student at Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. He belonged to the planetary project group of the institute and participated in the All-Union Planetary Competitions in Koktebel. He interned at the Duks (Moscow) and the Red Pilot (Leningrad) factories.

Since January 1925, he interned at the design studio of the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute graduate K.A. Kalinin. There he took an active part in the design of the plane K-1. In the spring of 1928, he defended a diploma project on the specialty of an engineer-mechanic in aircraft engineering and graduated from the Kharkiv Aviation School while still working. He worked in the design studio in Kharkiv as an engineer of aerodynamics and participated in the design of K-2, K-4, K-5, K-7. He was also the leading designer of the K-3. In 1931 he designed and built a two-seater training airplane "Omega" at the Kharkiv aviation plant. This project was awarded the first prize at the All-Union competition. Since 1928 his designer career was accompanied by flight testing professional activities in the at the design studio of K.A. Kalinin. He participated in the testing of K-4, K-5, K-6, K-9, K-10 aircrafts.

In 1932-1933 he was the head of the flight and training department of the Poltava All-Ukrainian school of pilots. From January 1934, he became the member of the teaching staff at the Moscow Aviation Institute, where he lectured on the construction and design of aircraft. In November 1934 he became the pilot of the Polar Aircraft. In 1935 he graduated from the Serpukhov School of Blind and Night Flight. Starting from 1940 he was a test pilot of aero-plant #22. During the period between 1941-1943, he was a pilot of military transport aviation. He was engaged in the delivery of goods to the front (to the blockade of Leningrad) on the plane Li-2. In 1943-1952 he was a test pilot of aero-plant #23 and tested the bombers Tu-2 and Tu-4. In 1952-1955 he was a test pilot of the Flight Research Institute (Zhukovsky city). He participated in test flights on heavy airplanes.

O.M. Hratsianskyi was awarded the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union with the Order of Lenin and the Medal "Golden Star" in 1957 for courage and heroism manifested in the testing of new aviation technology. He mastered 49 types of airplanes, conducted flight tests of nineteen research places and more than a thousand of production planes.

From 1958 to 1968 he was the Deputy General Designer, head of the pilot-test complex OKB if O.K. Antonov. From 1968 he worked in the department of technical information of OKB of O.K.Antonov. He was awarded three Orders of Lenin and various medals.