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 Valery Chkalov

Born:   2-nd of February 1904
Deceased:   15-th of December 1938.

Valery Chkalov was a soviet military pilot.He made a 63-hour flight from Moscow to Washington via the North Pole


Valery Pavlovich Chkalov was born in Februry 2 in Vasilievskaya Sloboda, now the town Chkalovsk (Nizhny Novgorod Oblast). From 1921 till 1924 he studied at Yegorievskaya and Borisoglebskaya aviation schools, at the Moscow school of aerobatics and the Serpukhov higher school of air shooting. In 1924-1928 served in Air Force and got rather bad reputation because of different hooliganisms and foolhardiness. Was twice dismissed from Air Force and even was arrested because of a crash. He was in Brianskaya prison for 1 year and then worked in Leningrad aviation.

Then he again served in the Air Force as a test pilot. In 1930 he presented a new plain “I-5” to Stalin. His successful presentation saved Nikolay Polikarpov – the famous constructor subject to repression. Chkalov saved him from 10 years in concentration camp. Then Chkalov became the major pilot of KGB. He drove the plains “I-15” and “I-16”. Almost all the constructions exist in one example thus Chkalov tried to save the plane if it was possible. He has tested over 70 types of planes. Chkalov has theoretically and practically proved an opportunity to perform a lot of new aerobatics figures.

Chkalov began to make long-distance flights with pilots Baidukov and Belyakov. In 1936 Chkalov, Baidukov and Belyakov began the first non-stop flight from Moscow to Petropavlovsk – Kamchatskiy. (9374 km for 56 h 20 min). In 1937, on 18 June Chkalov, Baidukov and Beliakov team by the same plane began the first in a history of aircraft transpolar non-stop flight from Moscow through North Pole to the United States of America . On 20 June the plane made landing in Vancouver, Washington (USA), having covered distance in 8582 km per 63 hours and 16 minutes. The Chkalov team flew for the first time above North Pole and a pole of inaccessibility and discovered the shortest way connected two continents, pilots have brought glory to Russian aviation power.

Chkalov lived only 34 years; he was killed in a plane crash when he tested the I-180 plain on 15-th of December 1938. The conditions of this tragedy were very strange. Valery Chkalov took off and made a low circuit around the airfield. Then he flew up over 2,000 m even though the flight plan specifically forbade exceeding 600 m. Chkalov came in short of the airfield but when he attempted to correct the engine stalled because of the very low temperature – 24 degrees centigrade. The pilot avoided several buildings but crashed into a power line. Chkalov was ejected from the plain, was taken to a hospital and died two hours later.

Chkalov’s daughter stated later that Chkalov was killed by NKVD because of his abrupt character and unwillingness to fawn upon Stalin.

The Chkalov’s skills served Russian pilots during the Great Patriotic War. The skills to fly very cloth to the ground saved pilots in fights with more powerful German aviation. The german pilots could not fly so low and stopped to follow Soviet plains.

Tags: Valery Chkalov Russian pilots    

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