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 Boris Stechkin

Born:   5 August 1891
Deceased:   2 April 1969

an outstanding Soviet scientist and engineer, father of air-breathing engine system theory,


Boris Stechkin is an outstanding Soviet scientist, who made an enormous contribution into engine-building and heat engineering, being the father of air-breathing engine system theory.

Future scientist was born in Tula Region to the family of a midwife and a newspaper man, who left the family three years after Boris was born. Boris Stechkin was brought up by his mother. In 1901 he entered Oryol Cadet Corps, and after graduation in 1908 was enrolled to the first year of mechanics department of Moscow Higher Technical Academy, where he met Nikolay Zhukovsky and became his faithful follower. Stechkin helped Zhukovsky to open design-and-test bureau, aviation courses and aviation department. The scientist also helped great ace Nesterov to calculate parameters of his famous loop.

Between 1915 and 1917 Boris Stechkin worked on bomb-dropping facility for aircrafts. Moreover, he built his first aviation engine, in which first ever fuel injection into gasoline engine cylinders was performed. In 1918 Stechkin got his diploma of mechanical engineer. In the same year Central Aero-Hydrodynamic Institute opened, where Boris Stechkin headed an engine-propeller department. The scientist concentrated on altitude engines, increasing of their power and economic efficiency, he studied engine’s combustion chamber, engine detonation and its suppression. Boris Stechkin was the one, who suggested building a low-pressure chamber for studying processes, taking place in engine under various working regimes.

Boris Stechkin kept reading lectures in Moscow Higher Technical Academy and in 1921 became a professor of engine-building department of Lomonosov Institute. The scientist was always busy creating new theories and performing experiment, but rarely bothered to publish results of his work. In 1921 his lectures and papers on aviation engine theory, where the scientist wrote about classical formulas and inferences, came off the press and later became fundamental basics of engine theory. Later several papers, published in 1926-1928, made the scientist world famous.

In 1930 Boris Stechkin was arrested within the governmental fight with pseudo-scientists and sentenced to 3 years, but later was fully rehabilitated. While in prison, the scientist kept working – he supervised design, construction and bench-run tests of several diesel aircraft engines, which became the basis for building two original engines in 1933-1937.

Boris Stechkin also worked on dynamic reaction weapon, having created all the theory and applied it for terrestrial, aviation, tank and navy troops. He invented recoilless dynamic reaction cannon. In 1937 the scientist was once again arrested, but continued working. Stechkin designed and build first axial flow compressor for aviation diesel supercharging. In 1941 the scientist created intermittent ramjet engine, also known as Stechkin accelerator. In 1943 Boris Stechkin was released from the prison and started working on reciprocating engines.

The scientist continued calculations of axial flow compressors, which resulted in a new theory of aerodynamic design of compressor blades, for which the scientist received the order of Lenin. Later the researcher took part in design of a new engine, which was made for Soviet bomber aircrafts, but later was used for passenger aircrafts of Tupolev family. In 1946 Boris Stechkin became a corresponding member of Soviet Academy of Sciences, and the following year brought him the title of full member of the Academy. Stechkin was awarded for Tu-104, passenger aircraft, in 1957. The scientist also did a lot in the field of turbines.

Stechkin paid attention to nature protection and conservation – he took part in many meetings, where tried to draw attention of scientific community to the environment.

Great scientist and engineer died in 1969 and was buried on Novodevichye cemetery in Moscow.

Tags: Russian science Russian scientists Russian engineers Boris Stechkin  

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