Kudashev Olexander Sergiyovych. The discoverer of aeronautics in Russia.

The first attempts to construct a plane belonging to the nineteenth century. Thus, in 1882 the Russian engineer Olexander Mozhajskij built an aeronautical machine that is not able to rise into the air because of the large mass of the steam-engine, which served as the engine. Yet the pilots were not armed (aware) with the theory of flight and engineering experience. The first engine (motor) plane that could get off the ground and make a controlled flight, was "Flyer 1", built by the Wright Brothers in the U.S.. December 17, 1903 "Flyer 1" held on in the air 59 seconds and flew past 260 m.. In the Russian Empire a practical development of aircraft was delayed for five to seven years because of the military department unreasonable neglect of potential new invention - the aircraft and construction for the Army only airships and balloons.

The success of Russian aviation dated May 23, 1910. On that day a professor of the Kiev Polytechnic Institute (KPI), Prince Olexander Kudashev flew dozens of meters on the biplane "Kudashev 1" of his own design. Till then in Russia foreign aircraft flying only. In June of that year, the student of KPI Sikorsky continued the work of Professor Kudashev. He raised his own plane into the air. A few days later flight took place in St. Petersburg by engineer James Gakkel (manned by V.Bulhakov) on unusual for the time biplane with a fuselage (bimonoplane). These events marked the beginning of the development of Russian aviation, the pioneer is considered to be the Prince O.Kudashev.

The origin

Prince Olexander Kudashev - representative of an old noble family originating from Tatar princes Bihana and Said Ahmed, who settled on the southern borders of Russia after the collapse of the Golden Horde. On the edge of the XVII and XVIII centuries part of this generation took Orthodoxy and for the next three centuries gave Russia the whole pleiad of brilliant figures of martial arts, diplomacy, nation-building, culture and science. Major-General Nicholas D. Kudashev – a hero of the Patriotic War of 1812, a member of the Battle of Borodino, holder of many awards, including St. George IV and III degree. M.Kudashev was a close friend of Field Marshal Mikhail Kutuzov Illarionovych. They later also intermarried, as a great commander, highly appreciating the virtues of the prince, dedication homeland, gave him his daughter Kateryna Mychalivna to wife. In 1813 Nicholas D. Kudashev was killed in the Battle of Leipzig.

His brother, Prince Sergiy Kuchma Kudashev, the chamberlain of іmperial court, the governor of Kiev. He rests at Kievo-Pecherska lavra. The daughter of Sergei D., Princess Alexandra, in marriage with Berdyaev, was the mother of the famous Russian philosopher Nikolai Alexandrovich Berdyaev. The son of Sergei D., Prince Sergey Kudashev - State Councilor Orthodoxy (1834 -). It is only in the family of Sergei in 1872 was born the airman Olexander Sergiovych Kudashev.

O.Kudashev was married to Countess Ekaterina Kostenko Tolstoy, nee Countess Stenbock-Fermor (this genus known from the XIII century and has Swedish origin). In 1896 in the family of Olexander and Catherine Vasil'yevna Kudashev was born a son Sergei, named after his grandfather. He became an officer in the Russian army and was killed in 1918 during the Civil War. His wife - Maria Pavlovna Kudasheva (the second marriage - Rolland) was a talented translator, a close friend M.Tsvyetayeva, Boris Pasternak, M.Voloshyna, I.Erenburha later - R.Rollan.

O.Kudashev’s grandson, a son of Sergei Olexandrovich and Maria Pavlovna - Sergey Kudashev as his grandfather had leanings towards science. He studied at the Mechanics and Mathematics Faculty of Moscow State University named after Lomonosov. Later Sergey Kudashev was adopted by the French writer Romain Rolland and before the war he lived with his mother and stepfather in France. When the war began, he returned to Moscow, graduated from artillery courses and went to the front. Sergey Kudashev was killed in fighting near Moscow in November 1941.

The description of the Kudashev’s thread could be go on, but even a brief digression suggests that the family was an atmosphere of high culture, fine intelligence, creativity and patriotism.

The path to aviation

In 1896 after graduation of the St. Petersburg Institute of Railway Engineers of Emperor Alexander, I O.Kudashev was appointed to serve in the transport ministry staff engineer class IX and as performer of the second level in the construction of the railway line Tyflis - Kars. For the successful work in various engineering positions "His Majesty's orders to civilian agency №62 on August 8, 1900 Prince Kudashev awarded the title of titular councilor."

Working as an engineer, Olexander became interested in research problems of the construction business. Feeling the calling to science Kudashev wanted to choose a cornfield of university professor. He appealed to the leadership of the Ministry of Railways with a request to send him to teaching in the newly created Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. Soon O.Kudashev is available "to send abroad for a period from 10 December 1899 to 1 September 1900 to prepare for the title of professor of architectural art of the Kiev Polytechnic Institute issuance under this assignment in 1350 rubles.».

May 17, 1900 Prince Kudashev addresses a letter to the director of the Kiev Polytechnic Institute Professor V.Kyrpychov: "Dear Victor Lvovich! I ask you to consider my trial lecture I wish to read ... "On the general properties and main applications of reinforced concrete structures." If the Council of the Institute consideres that this lecture is inappropriate, I will not refuse let them know about it. Please accept the assurances of my respect fullest, ready for your service, Prince O.Kudashev. "

After reading a brilliant lecture a Director of KPI professor V.Kyrpychov wrote a letter to the Minister of Finance of the graph S.Vitte: "His Excellency Mr. Minister of Finance, Administrator and trade. The Council entrusted me the Institute has appointed the prince Kudashev to read trial lecture and listened to her, decided to seek the supreme command of the Duke Kudashev approval from September 1, 1900 the instructors and staff acting extraordinary professor of architectural art of the amount of compensation called department and obligation to defend the thesis within two years". After a few days of training department of the Ministry of Finance the director of KPI V.Kyrpychov announced the appointment of "engineer routes Prince O.Kudashev tenured teacher of art and architecture of KPI".

Then for KPI were invited prominent scientists from St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev St. Volodymyr University. Among them were prominent chemists M.Konovalov, S.Reformatorskyy, V.Plotnikov known mechanics K.Zvorykin, O.Kotelnykov, K.Dementyev, V.Kyrpychov, O.Radtsyh, V.Yermakov mathematician, physicist and H.De Metz many others. In an atmosphere of high creativity, deep intelligence began his teaching career in KPI as a young engineer O.Kudashev. However, private circumstances make of Olexander interrupt initiated in KPI deal almost five years. On invitation from Prince O.Kudashev 07/19/1901 states: "Unable to family reasons I carry out studies at the Kiev Polytechnic Institute, I have the honor to request Your Excellency to apply to the Minister of Finance release me from his post on June 1 this year . Prince O.S.Kudashev ".

Freed from the KPI, Olexander left Russia. The news of the world's first flight, piloted by Americans and Orville Wright Vilberom, finds him in France. This event and flying French and German pilots who were quick after it have on Kudasheva extremely deep impression. "Why only Americans, Germans or French, not us - the Russians must fly!" - Drilled in the head of Kudashev.

The dream - to build airplanes and fly on them - possessed him. We need people, money, technology. Not finding such opportunities in France, Prince Kudashev returned to Russia, where he continued actively seek ways to pursue his dreams temporarily working as a teacher of Don Polytechnic Institute in Novocherkassk. Meanwhile in Kiev, Polytechnic, begins to emerge air movement. All thoughts, aspirations, hopes of future aviation pioneer turned to Kyiv. That is why the letter addressed to him by the rector of KPI professor Chervinska, Kudashev was perceived as a gift of fate, as the possibility of his dreams and his first plane fly into the sky! It reported: "The Council entrusted me institute at its meeting on October 14, 1906 has chosen you as a teacher of art and construction surveying for more than a year." Indeed, further work is marked by soaring KPI engineering talent Prince Kudashev.

The planes of Prince Kudashev

As at the Kiev Polytechnic Institute was an atmosphere of democracy, scientific creativity, pedagogical innovation. Interests of students and teachers idea to build airplanes and fly them in 1906 was embodied in the creation of the circle aeronautics. Its founders were students of Nikolai Zhukovsky, Professors Nicholas Delaunay and Nikolai Artemyev. At one time the head the group and the "father of strength of materials" was Stephen Timoshenko. Circle combines two hundred enthusiasts - students and teachers. They began to learn the basics of aircraft, gliders and aircraft design, make reports that are heard by the general meeting of the circle. In 1909 Aeronautical student group grew in Kiev Society for Aeronautics. For pilots joined and Olexander Kudashev. A few years of exciting work he gained extensive knowledge in the new field, received the necessary practical experience to build your own airplane.

The flight of M. Efimov by plane Farman-IV

In the years 1909-1910 aviation in the Russian Empire developed particularly rapidly. Autumn 1909 in demonstration flights were French pilots Zh.Lehanye and A.Hyuyo. Appeared the first Russian pilots who studied abroad - M.Yefimov, S.Utochkin, M. Popov and others. They began to import aircraft of various foreign and do on them the show flights. The successful flight of the first Russian pilot Mikhail Efimov in March 1910 the French aircraft "Farman-IV» very influenced Kudashev. Olexander even met with Michael Nychyporovych who took Kudasheva along on one of the flights. The impression of air travel was so strong that he returned to Kyiv, Kudashev categorically decided to complete on a tight schedule the construction of its aircraft.

The management of KPI strongly supported the Prince Kudashev. The archives of the Institute remained a document addressed to Olexander Sergeyevich: "I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that the rule of the Kiev Polytechnic Institute of Prince Alexander II at a meeting on March 2, 1910 allowed to hold the estate of the Institute of Chemical Corps near boardwalk temporary shed for the preparation of the airplane during this summer with the obligation to demolish it to request the Board of the Institute. Humbly ask you to accept the assurance of my fullest respect and devotion to you. Director of KPI K.Dementyev".

The frame of plane bearing surfaces with an area 32 square meters, was taken from the second half of May 1910 A. Kudashev’s plane, called "Kudashev-1" was ready to fly. This was the uniform of the biplane pulling propeller, weighing 320 pounds, is equipped with an engine "Anzani" power of 35 horsepower. It had front wheel height, steering wheel control and anti-tail wooden rails and covered with rubberized canvas. May 23, 1910 the aircraft was moved from the chemical corps of KPI on Syretsky racetrack. There, in the presence of reporters, most city newspapers, many members of Kyiv Ballooning Society, O.Kudashev flew in an airplane of his own design. The flight did not last long, only a few tens of meters, but it was the first in Russia. About the event written all Kyiv newspaper. "Journal aeronautics" gave a detailed report about the event. The magazine "Aero-Automobile and Life" published an article by Professor KPI M.Artem Prokofiev on the plane "Kudashev-1" and the Prince Kudashev as the first aviator in Russia.

However, achieving of Kudashev was not officially recognized. Motivated by the fact that the flight made without prior notice and at the airfield was not an appropriate number of observers from St. Petersburg. But nowadays a priority of Kudashev was recognized by Russian and foreign historians aircraft.

Next year O.Kudashev built three airplanes with gasoline engines "Anzani" and "Dwarf". "Kudashev-2", built in autumn 1910, was equipped with an engine "Dwarf" power of 50 horsepower and different from its original form first twin arc chassis, which later became widely into practice and used aircraft for many years. This chassis almost immediately borrowed from the French Kudashev creating aircraft "Dyuperdyussen". Under the scheme, it was a shaped biplane with front wheel height, with a normal horizontal plumage and driving directions. In size it was bigger than the first model. The design of the aircraft "Kudashev-3" distinguished extraordinary ease, simplicity and cheapness. It was a highplane with the engine "Anzani" power of 35 hp., fuselage with tight arc and chassis. This aircraft, like the second model, built and tested in KPI winter 1910. After a short jog aircraft easily broke away from the ground and could already make small flights.

About aviation achievements of Prince Kudashev learns the great Russian industrialist M.Shydlovskomu. In 1911 he invited Olexander Sergeyevich to the Russian-Baltic Wagon Works. Following his plane, "Kudashev-4", Olexander has built in Riga, in the shops "RussoBalt." "Kudashev-4" with engine "Dwarf" at 50 hp was the development of the previous model. He had the highest landing pilot, two-column boar arc gear was carried in a pure form. The plane had a removable wings for speeds of 60 and 80 km / h, the last - with less curvature and scale. Tight on both sides was performed rubberized cloth. The aircraft was repeatedly tested by O.Kudashev in April 1911.

The first Aeronautical Exhibition in St. Petersburg in the spring of that year builder "Kudashev-4" was awarded the Grand Silver Medal.

However, "Kudashev-4" was the last flight of Olexander. 38-year-old designer could not stand the competition of the new generation of pilots, and especially of the young, rich and talented Igor Sikorsky. Prince Kudashev completing independent work and accepts M.Shydlovskoho switch design office of his former students at Sikorsky Aircraft Division of the Russian Baltic carriage plant in St. Petersburg. Together with O.Kudashev Sikorski invited many designers of Kyiv, in particular Anatolia Serebrennikov, George Adler and others.

Over the next three years under the leadership of Igor Sikorsky created the world's first large aircraft multiengined "Ruthenian Knight" and "Ilya Muromets". But freedom and individualism of Prince Kudashev come into conflict with team work style "RussoBalt." In 1914 he decided to leave the aircraft, knowing that fulfilled its mission pioneer of aeronautics in Russia and can no longer be the first. That same year, Olexander leaving home forever.
Instead of an epilogue

After emigrating to France O.Kudashev taught at the École Polytechnique in Paris, where at one time worked Gaspard Monge, Pierre Simon Laplace, and many other luminaries of world science. The fate of Prince O.Kudashev, who played a prominent role at the dawn of the domestic aircraft industry, remains unclear. Unknown date of death and place of burial. Prince Rifkat Kudashev (biographer of kind Kudashev) writes that lists the Russians buried in the cemetery near Paris Saint-Genevieve-des-Bois in the Russian necropolis O.S. Kudashev not listed. However, he believes that the list of burials in this cemetery Russians is not complete. On the other hand, near Paris, there are other cemeteries, where can be rested the pioneer of Russian aviation.

Michailo Zgurovsky, Rector of NTU "KPI", National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, "Mirror of the week», № 19 (799) 22 - 28 May 2010

Translated by Nefiodova Olexandra, LA-02