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1928-1933 - 1st Five-Year Plan - Aviation

In October 1928, Stalin announced the First Five-Year Plan. With Stalin's decision to industrialize Russia at a forced tempo and with a very heavy bias toward the military industrial complex, it became possible to build an indigenous aircraft industry, to turn out Soviet airplanes. It was not until the mid-1930s that the nation began to approach Western levels of industrial and technological accomplishment.

In 1931, in a speech at the All-Union Conference of Socialist Workers on the Tasks of Businessmen, Stalin set the task: "We are 50 to 100 years behind the capitalist countries, we must run this distance in ten years, or we will be dashed. This is what our obligations to the workers and peasants of the USSR dictate to us."

Most of the combat aircraft produced during the first five-year plan by the Soviet aircraft factories were - due to structural and technological errors - of low quality. In the certificate of the EKU OGPU of August 10, 1933 "On the qualitative and tactical performance of aircraft designed and built at TsAGI, as compared with similar machines in Europe and the USA", it was noted that "With a few exceptions (a heavy TB-3 bomber with an M-17 engine), all other vehicles should be considered experimental and some of them purely experimental (MI-3) that are in the process of finalizing their design, and only after removing a number of design flaws - the question will arise about their mass production for the needs of defense... "

The disadvantages of the organization of the technological process and the quality control system for products, apparently, should be added to the low skill level of the labor force. In the presence of a large number of imported equipment, metal waste, for example, in the shell production accounted for 50-60% in the first five-year plan, in the manufacture of guns - 70%; no less was determined this waste in the tank, aviation and other industries.

With a good memory, Stalin was well aware of the design features of aircraft, all the important issues in aviation were decided by Stalin. The 1929-32 period witnessed a real expansion of the aircraft industry; old plants were expanded and modernized and new ones were built. According to an official Soviet source, between 1928 and 1932, the labor force in the aviation industry increased by 750 percent and the number of engineers and technicians by 1,000 percent. Just how many aircraft plants there were in 1928 and how many were built by 1932 is a matter of confused guessing by Western observers. The guesstimates of the number of aircraft plants in 1932 vary from 6 airframe and 12 engine plants to a total of over 40 (with 150,000 personnel). In the Second Five-Year Plan (1933-37), the output of aircraft quadrupled, going from 860 Ln 1930 to 3,578 in 1937.

The rapid advancement of youth through the ranks was a characteristic phenomenon of that time, and the prerequisites for it were not only the consequences of the repression of old specialists. The industry has significantly increased the technical level of production and science, and its leadership has boldly promoted young talented professionals who have proven themselves in practical matters to leadership positions in factories, design offices and institutes, in the office of the People's Commissariat. It was not only in the defense industry. The entire national economy grew very rapidly, and they needed personnel from qualified specialists engineers, technicians, architects, etc., to guide them. The solution of this task was dealt with by the relevant organs of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b), who transferred here their extensive experience in the selection of party nomenclature.

To get "up" in those years was very easy. But it was much harder to stay, as Stalin conducted cadre policy.

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Page last modified: 04-11-2018 17:41:29 ZULU