The 100th anniversary of birth of Sergey Mikhailovich Eger, the outstanding aircraft designed, Hero of Socialist Labor, Honored worker of science and technology of RSFSR (Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic), laureate of the Lenin prize, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Engineering, professor, one of the founders of Tupolev design bureau, was celebrated on July 30th 2014.
Sergey Eger was born on July 30th 1914 in Romanovka settlement (Tambov Region). He graduated from a school located in Tambov after 7 years. In 1932 he entered Moscow Aviation Institute (evening department) and got a job at TsAGI’s design department for experimental aircraft development (KOSOS) headed by Andrey Nikolaevich Tupolev. Solid technical competence and high level of education resulted in fast career growth. In 1936 he was appointed head of design team and secretary of Komsomol committee at TsAGI’s branch.
In March Eger was arrested on the charge of espionage. In May 1939 he met with Tupolev at Bolshevski forced labor camp. Tupolev was appointed head of a group responsible for development of military aircraft. 25-year-old Eger managed all the design works and became the right-hand man for Tupolev. Since then they have been working together for 36 years right until the death of Tupolev.
They started with a project for development of four-engine dive bomber, which transformed quickly into smaller twin-engine Tu-2 dive bomber due to increasing threat of attack from German army. Tu-2 became one of the best aircraft of the Great Patriotic War.
After the war Sergey Eger was appointed Chief Designer responsible for development of an aircraft family comprising Tu-2 piston-engine aircraft, Tu-14 jet and other vehicles. In the network of Tu-78 project Eger offered a new aerodynamic configuration – three-engine aircraft with an air intake located at the base of the vertical stabilizer. This aircraft is also fitted with a pressurized cabin and its control system was equipped with boosters. Sergey Eger was also the Chief Designer of the first Soviet jet bomber Tu-77 (Tu-12). The jet’s production flight testing and state testing have been completed under his leadership.
Under the guidance of Sergey Eger the Tupolev design bureau’s “lucky” aircraft have been developed – Tu-16 and Tu-95. Tu-91 jet strike-fighter was another important milestone in the history of the enterprise; it by far exceeded the expectations of the armed forces. Under the initiative of S. Eger the first on-board computer UM-1 developed by Staros and Berg in USA (later they moved to USSR) was used and a laboratory headed by V.N. Volkhov responsible for development of software for the computer was established. Having received an order for development of an interceptor, Eger offered Tupolev to create a “flying platform” capable of launching air defense missiles – Tu-128 aircraft.
Among the most significant milestones in the life of Sergey Eger were projects for development of Tu-22 and Tu-154 aircraft. Sergey Eger was appointed Chief Designer of the Tu-154 project and led it all the way from the start to the jet’s serial production and export deliveries. 2.5 years after the death of Tupolev Eger had to leave the design bureau and joined Moscow Aviation Institute’s Aircraft Design Department; he was appointed Chairman of the department in 1968.
In 1975 a new specialty was introduced at the department: computer-aided aircraft design. Eger was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Coordination Council of USSR Ministry of Higher Education Institutions on CAD software. As a result Eger in cooperation with O.S. Samoylovich and N.K. Liseytsev wrote a handbook “The basics of CAD”. Eger played an active part in scientific and social work: he was a member of an expert group of Higher Attestation Commission, member of an expert group on Lenin and State prizes, member of editorial board of Mashinostroyeniye publishing house. Hundreds of specialists, who attended his lectures, consider themselves his followers. Among them are over 20 post-graduate students and degree-seeking students, who defended a thesis under his guidance.
Sergey Mikhailovich Eger died on July 30th 1987 on his birthday. He left dozens of technical solutions and a new modern school of aircraft design after his death. He continued his work as a lecturer right until his death.
The employees of Tupolev Company are keeping up the long-standing traditions and respect the history of their enterprise and its honored workers, who did much to establish and develop its engineering school and national aviation. A brochure dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Sergey Eger’s birth was issued and a display dedicated to his works and his contribution to development of the aircraft industry was opened in Tupolev’s museum. The related photo-gallery was opened on the first floor: unique photos from the museum and Eger’s family archive as well as photos of aircraft developed under his guidance are presented there. On July 30th 2014 employees of Tupolev Company traditionally honored the memory of Sergey Eger by laying flowers to the monument to the outstanding aircraft designer located at Kuntsevo cemetery.