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Alexander Fedrovich Mozhaysky

MozhayskyDuring the Cold War the Soviets claimed that the world's first airplane was created in Russia, by Alexander Fedrovich Mozhaysky (also transliterated as Mozhayski, Mozhayskii and Mozhayskiy). It was claimed he built and tested the first airplane twenty years before the American Wright brothers. Under Zhdanov, numerous inventions and scientific discoveries were reclaimed by Russian researchers. Examples include the boiler, reclaimed by father and son Cherepanovs; the electric bulb, by Yablochkov and Lodygin; the radio, by Popov; and the airplane, by Mozhaysky.

Alexander Mozhaysky born March 9, 1825 to a family of a sailor, Admiral of the Russian fleet Fedor Timofeevich Mozhaiskogo. AF Mozhajskij was brought up in the Sea Cadet Corps, which he brilliantly graduated from the January 19, 1841 A year later he was promoted to warrant officers. After seven years of sailing on different ships in the Baltic and White Seas, Mozhajskij in 1849 received the rank of lieutenant. In 1863 Mozhajskij was dismissed in connection with the forced downsizing of the fleet after the Crimean War, but in 1879 was re-enlisted for active duty with the rank of captain 1 rank and sent to the Naval Cadet Corps, where he led a course seamanship.

Even in 1876 Mozhajskij started working on a project for a long time conceived of the aircraft heavier than air. While serving in the Marine Mozhajskij body, using advice from the largest Russian scientists continued to improve their project. In July 1882 Captain 1st Rank Mozhayskoe was awarded the rank of major general dismissal from service "for family reasons". Subsequently Mozhayskoe was promoted to Rear Admiral.

Dismissed from service, AF Mozhajskij without any assistance from the imperial government continued to refine and improve your plane, tested in the air in July, 1882, and only death on March 19, 1890, prevented him from completing the construction of a new aircraft.

The idea of ??creating an aircraft heavier than air came in Mozhaiskogo back in 1855, when he started a careful observation of the flight of birds and kites. In 1872, after a series of painstaking research and experimentation Mozhajskij established relationship between lift and drag at different angles of attack and thoroughly illuminated the question of flying birds.

German researcher and Lilienthal glider has done similar work on 17 years later Mozhaiskij. Checking out his findings and observations in practice, Mozhajskij experimented in two directions: on the one hand, he worked on the screws, which were to create an aircraft thrust in the air, on the other - on models of aircraft.

Mozhajskij could perform with models with his own limited resources, but the construction of the aircraft at its actual size required costs considerable sums of money, which he did not possess. Therefore, at the beginning of 1877 he decided to "expose his invention to the court of scientific criticism, suggesting the War Department to use its project for military purposes in the coming war with Turkey." With the support of DI Mendeleev was decided to let the inventor 3000 rubles for further work and to oblige him to submit a program of experiments on the machine.

In the spring of 1878 AF Mozhajskij decided to go to the construction of the aircraft in full size. On March 23, 1878, he appealed to the Chief Engineer's Office with memo, which pointed out that "required to resolve the issue of data can only be obtained on the machine of this size, on which people could control the power of the machine and the direction of the machine," and asked for leave funds for the construction of an airplane, the cost of which it has been defined in 18895 rubles. For the engines provided for the installation of two steam engines with a total capacity of 30 hp.

"The amount requested is now Mozhaisk, so significant" recorded in its decision the experts - "that the Commission has not decided to welcome its appropriations ...". Government organizations refused to finance the inventor. Only advanced Russian intelligentsia and the working together with Mozhaiskoye ordinary workers supported him and gave him all possible assistance. In 1881, with a government grant of 2,500 rubles, he purchased two 20- and 10-horsepowersteam engines for his "flying device".

MozhayskyIn the summer of 1882 the aircraft was ready for testing. Tests were carried out in conditions of great secrecy. July 20, 1882 at the military field in the Red village gathered representatives of the military authorities and Russian technical society. Mozhayskoe was not allowed to fly, as he at that time was already 57 years old. The test aircraft in the air was entrusted to the assistant of Mozhaiskogo - mechanics, IN Golubev. The plane, piloted by Golubev, at the end of the run to gain the necessary speed, rose into the air and flew a distance in a straight line flies approximately 100 feet before crashing. At landing the wing was damaged. In spite of this, Mozhajskij was pleased with the results of the test, as it was the first time almost proved the possibility of human flight in heavier-than-air.

He was now universally recognized and provided with support from the government. However, the reality turned out quite different. The invention of Mozhaiskogo was declared a military secret and he was strictly forbidden to write anything about the plane.

Mozhajskij used paltry funds continued to work on improving his machine to the last days of his life. After the inventor's death, his plane was standing in the open air in the Red village for many years and, after the Defense Ministry refused to buy it, was subsequently dismantled and transported to the estate Mozhaiskiye near Vologda. Even the name of the inventor appeared unnoticed and unrecognized in Tsarist Russia.

Mozhaiski may have had some success getting his large machine into a glide from a downhill ramp, but pre-Soviet evidence suggests it quickly tipped over on one wing. Judging from the design of the plane and its similarity to others being experimented with in England at the time, it's unlikely he was ever able to take off from a flat surface. Under Stalin's reign, Mozhaiski was put forward as the inventor of the airplane.

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Page last modified: 05-10-2018 18:42:33 ZULU