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OKB-1 Alekseyev

Semen Mikhaylovich Alekseyev became a part of the glorious cohort of Chief designers, led by S.p. Korolyov, almost from the inception of the training programs for human space flight. [Do not to confuse Semyon Alekseyev with Rostislav Alekseyev the father of modern wing-in-ground effect aircraft] He entered in the job already with a solid store of experience and knowledge of the main Designer and production manager of the aviation industry, where he began work in his 20s. Born December 24, 1909, Alekseyev at an early age he lost his parents, walked through the children's home and was adopted by a working family Alekseevyh - distant relatives of his deceased parents. His childhood and youth were spent in Moscow, where he started work in the factory "Proletarian Labor" work.

In the early 1930s, Alexeyev finished the evening department of the Moscow Aviation Institute (at TsAGI ), parallel learning to design courses and working in the bureau A. Tupolev and C. Ilyushin . During this period, he participated in the development of a pressurized cabin stratospheric " USSR-1 "and the first in the Soviet Union stratospheric aircraft BOC-1.

Semyon Mikhailovich Alekseev brought a great contribution to the establishment of fighter La-5 and La-7, working in the Lavochkin Design Bureau, in 1943, was the first deputy head of the designer. By the end of World War II, after the return of the OKB S.A.Lavochkin from evacuation to Moscow in 1946, he was sent to Gorky as the Chief Designer of the OKB and plant No 21, which produced aircraft for Lavochkin. In those years approval of such a post, happened more often than not, with the approval of the the Commander In Chief.


The Soviet Union had culled its share of German scientists at the end of World War Two, and those scientists would likely be doing for the USSR what Americas ex-Nazis were doing for it. During WWII, German aircraft designers put forth many aircraft project ideas, which ranged from the practical to the bizarre. Some of these ideas were ahead of their time and reached a more advanced design stage, and even affect aircraft today.

An interesting twist in the fate of Alekseyev came in the year 1948. From the memoirs of Boris Yevseyevich Chertok - "Rockets and people" there is a discussion of the work of German scientists and engineers in the KB on the island of Gradoml (Lake Seliger) on rocket and space programs. A similar scheme for solving staffing problems was involved in the aircraft construction. In the year 1948, Alekseyev became the leader and Chief Designer of OKB-1 in Dubna on the Bank of the Volga, which worked for aviation design and engineering firms "Junkers" and Henkel from Germany.

State Experimental Plant No. 1, where the German aviation engineers were gathered by the Soviets, was set up in 1946 based on the former Plant No. 458, which, during the war, built and repaired seaplanes and developed Yak-3 and Spitfire fighters for catapult launching under the guidance of designer I. V. Chetverikov. In 1946, Chetverikov and his assistants were transferred to Leningrad and General V. I. Abramov was appointed Plant No. 1 director.

The Germans were divided into two OKBs. OKB-l was based on the aircraft section of the Soviet-German Dessau enterprise. Engineer P.N.Obrubov and Goettingen University graduate German engineer F.Freitag were the deputies of chief designer B. Baade. The group of leading OKB-l employees also included Ju 287 bomber designer H.Wocke and Dessau plant chief engineer J.Haselhoff. Former Junkers aerodynamics department head Dr. G.Bockhaus and K.Strauss, who had a doctorate from Hannover University, supervised the aerodynamics research.

Interestingly, among the OKB specialists there was one Russian, Boris Fedorovich Shlippe. He was born in Moscow in 1903, immigrated to Germany where he graduated from the Polytechnic Institute in the city of Schermitz, and worked as an aviation engineer in Dessau. Apparently, he was a good specialist because, despite his "emigre" past, he headed an OKB section and was highly paid, receiving 5000 rubles a month.

Work with the Germans were characterized by different approaches and standards the design, which made the job very non-productive in general. There were exotic, far sighted developments, such as the cabin in which the pilot was lying-down. Such a solution gave a key benefit in pilot endurance. These studies formed the basis for later the flight of astronaut safety on ships "Vostok", "Sunrise" and "Union" and, including, in the case of one of the most difficult in this aspect of emergency situations-refusal in the last stage of the media on the removal and return of the landing apparatus for steep ballistic trajectories.

The aircraft designed by OKB-1 did not meet the tactical and technical requirements, and topics were closed. The work on fighter and bomber aircraft, including the wing-back sweep, was stopped due to the return to their homeland in Germany in 1950. In 1950, S.M. Alekseeva transferred to M.m. Gromov, where he led the sending of works on creation of aircraft-labs for fuel refuelling of aircraft systems in flight.

Creation of the "150" front bomber with sweptback wing became the last OKB-1 task. It was not a development of WWII German aircraft but represented an entirely new design using the latest achievements in science and technology of the second half of the 1940s. In addition to German specialists from experimental plant OKB-1, leading TsAGI scientists took part in this work. Among them were V. N. Belyaev, A.I.Makarevskiy A.K.Martinov, G.P.Svishchev, S.A.Khristianovich, and engineers from VIAM and some other organizations.

At the end of 1954 the OKB-1 (without SM Alexeev) at the request of the government of East Germany began designing the medium mainline passenger aircraft 152, designed for 72 passenger seats. The basis for this machine was the previously created bomber 150. After the repatriation of the German professionals, the OKB was closed. In May 1956. OKB-1 was moved to East Germany, where merged into the existing industrial association. Aircraft received the designation VEB-152 and its development continued.

OKB-1 aircraft

designation Type Status
EF-126 flight tested in 1946
EF-131high-altitude bomberexperiental (Junkers Ju-287V3) development stopped in 1947
EF-140high-altitude bomberexperiental , discontinued in 1948
EF-140-B/Rhigh-altitude bomber reconnaissance experiental
EF-140-Phigh-altitude reconnaissance experiental
EF-150long-range bomber experiental , nine flights in 1952
R-150long-range reconnaissanceproject
EF-152passenger derivative of the EF-150


In September 1946, Alekseev was promoted to head the newly created OKB-21. As head of the OKB-21, Alekseev was tasked to design and build a rocket fighter-interceptor, which would have a significant range and flight duration with massive weaponry. One of the main problems of the first jet fighters was a small range. Alekseev, as Chief designer, began to develop a series of new jet fighter planes, the first of which was I-211, then followed his modifications: I-212, I-215 and I-217. These machines implemented a number of innovative engineering solutions for domestic aviation. In particular, 2 jet engines, the chassis of the bicycle type and others.

Managed by famous test-pilots - S.Anohinym, M.Gallaem, A.Popov and others - the aircraft I-211 and I-215 demonstrated high flight characteristics. Their adoption in a batch production was stopped by the comment of J.V.Stalin about the possibility of problems with production engines. All of these fighters were twin engine. Thus, the difficulties of post-war years reflected on the fate of these exciting developments.

OKB-21 aircraft

designation Type Status
UTI-212trainer fighterproject
I-215interceptorexperiental (I-211 with engines "Derwent")
I-215Dinterceptorexperiental (understudy-215, on the bike rack)
I-216interceptorproject (I-211 with 75-mm guns and modified wing)
I-217interceptorproject (I-211 with swept wings)
SH-218attack planeproject

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