On March 31st 2014 a gala night was held to celebrate the 120th anniversary of Sergey Vladimirovich Ilyushin, the outstanding world famous aircraft designer, Colonel General of the Engineering and Technical Service, academician of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, three times Hero of the Socialist Labor.
S.V. Ilyushin was born on March 30th 1894 into a large peasant family in the village of Dilyalevo (Vologda Region). He graduated from the local school. At the age of 15 Sergey Ilyushin had to leave home and look for work. He worked as a digger at a Kolomyazhski hippodrome in St. Petersburg. The first All-Russian Aviation Week was scheduled to occur at that time, and it was necessary to turn the hippodrome into an airfield.
In 1914 he was called up for military service, where he advanced from engine mechanic’s assistant to the engine mechanic. In summer 1917 Ilyushin passed the exam and got his pilot license at a flying school of All-Russian aeroclub. In 1919 Ilyushin joined the Red Army and started working as a mechanic of an aircraft-maintenance train; later he was promoted to the chief mechanic and commissioner of the aircraft fleet. In 1921 he entered the Air Force Academy named after Professor N.E. Zhukovsky and graduated in 1926. Later he became the head of Technical committees of meetings dedicated to gliders (were held in Koktebel).
On August 18th 1933 he was awarded with the Order of the Red Star. After graduation from the air force academy Ilyushin was appointed Chairman of the First (Aircraft) subpanel of the Scientific and Technical Committee of the air forces of the Red Army. In August 1931 Ilyushin joined the RKKA (Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army) and started working in the aircraft industry. In 1931-1932 he was the Deputy Director of TsAGI (Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute named after N.E. Zhukovsky), Chief of Pilot Production Section of TsAGI. In January 1933 in accordance with the instruction of P.I. Baranov Ilyushin was appointed Head of the experimental design bureau of a plant №39 named after V.R. Mezhinsky. He started to build his team – brigade №3, which laid foundation to the design bureau.
The very first aircraft developed under the leadership of Ilyushin (a test long-range bomber TsKB-26) has brought him fame. The vehicle had set the first official Soviet world records in the area of aviation. On the basis of this aircraft other long-range bombers and torpedo bombers have been developed: DB-3, DB-3T, DB-3F, Il-4.
After analyzing the local military conflicts Ilyushin proposed development of armored strike-fighter intended for ground support missions. Later armored Il-2 strike-fighters have played an important part during the Great Patriotic War. In 1943 Il-2 became the tip of the military spear for Red Army’s air forces. A total of 36154 Il-2s have been manufactured. At the final stage of the war Il-10 armored strike-fighters have been put into service.
The first jet front-line bomber Il-28 was developed under Ilyushin’s leadership during a post-war period. Later Ilyushin design bureau developed the first armored jet strike-fighter Il-40.
In 1943 S.V. Ilyushin started working on development of a passenger aircraft. In January 1946 test-pilot of Ilyushin design bureau, V.K. Kokkinaki, piloted Il-12 passenger aircraft during its maiden flight. Il-14 passenger aircraft was developed on the basis of the experience gained in the course of operation of Il-12 under various weather conditions. Il-14 became the “workhorse” for Aeroflot and polar aviation. In early 1956 Ilyushin proposed development of a fuel-efficient turboprop seating 75 passengers. The Il-18 aircraft performed its maiden flight on July 4th 1957 and the first revenue flight – in April 1959. Outstanding military aircraft have been derived from Il-18: Il-38 antisubmarine aircraft, Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft, Il-22 command post (these vehicles are being operated by the Russian air forces).
On February 26th 1960 Ilyushin proposed development of Il-62 long-haul passenger aircraft. During development of the jet special attention was paid to aerodynamics, flight safety and comfort. Il-62 performed its maiden flight on January 2nd 1963. The state testing of Il-62 was completed in August 1967. Il-62 and its upgraded version Il-62M (powered by new engines, had extended range and higher fuel-efficiency) had a passenger capacity of 168 – 186 passengers.
The success of Ilyushin design bureau in terms of development of military and civil aircraft depended largely on personal qualities of S.V. Ilyushin: his ability to foresee further development of aviation, outstanding engineering and managerial skills, ability to implement the latest technologies, individual working efficiency and self-discipline.
He was awarded with a lot of government awards. He is three times Hero of the Socialist Labor, laureate of the Lenin Prize and 8 USSR State Prizes. His scientific and technical activities were honored by means of electing him academician of the USSR Academy of Sciences. S.V. Ilyushin was taking an active part in the country’s public life. He was a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of USSR and a Communist Party Congress delegate. In 1970 Ilyushin retired voluntarily for health reasons. His follower G.V. Novozhilov took over as the head of the design bureau; he kept the enterprise’s traditions and culture. The Ilyushin design bureau has developed Il-76 aircraft and its numerous modifications Il-86, Il-96-300, Il-114, Il-114Т, Il-114-100, Il-96MO, Il-96T.
The gala night was held in Moscow at the Culture Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences.