"Unprecedented fighter" designer Sylvansky

Ivan Petrovich Lemishev (according to other documents, including the Soviet one - Leminovsky) was born in 1896 near Chisinau, and after finishing a parochial school for several years he helped his father in farming, and then he entered a pharmacist’s pupil in one of Chisinau’s pharmaceutical institutions, from where he was soon expelled "for the absence of any kind of labor discipline." By this time, the First World War had begun, but Lemishev evaded mobilization to the front — all the same cronyism, he got a job at a military factory, from which no workers were taken to the front. There he met the future legendary red commander of the army - the under-educated student Jonah Yakir, who also did not want to take part in the imperialist war, but immediately after the February revolution in 1917, he expressed a strong desire to take part in the class war. Following his outstanding friend, Lemishev became an ardent fighter for people's happiness, and a correctly chosen direction literally six months later threw him almost to the top of power in the southern part of the former Russian Empire. As one of the assistants of Yakir, who had reached the leading positions in the Bessarabian gubrevkom (and then in the Odessa provincial office) Yakir, for the first time, he showed himself in the field of inventiveness, inviting his boss to hire Chinese who did not require a large payment for their services, but were great fighters .

The practical advice was useful to the newly commissioned commissar - thanks to his "Chinese army", Yakir ended the civil war with the commanders of the Lviv group of troops of the Southwestern Front, and even more stunning horizons opened before him. By that time, Lemishev had become only a commissar, but not at all because of his inability to military science - the young man decided to devote his life to technology, in particular to the new-fashioned aviation, to the benefit of a young Soviet republic whose leaders were obsessed with world revolution mania, At that time, the problem of creating a powerful air force fleet was very acute, and capable designers from among the "proletarian youth" were needed desperately.


In 1922, Ivan Lemishev graduated from the Aviation Engineers School in Kiev, then entered the Aviation School in Moscow, where he met Pavel Grokhovsky, also a novice inventor, who traveled the same path of Lemishev under the command of another “legendary” commander - Pavel Dybenko. After the war, they studied at the pilots, together they invented and constructed something, but Grokhovsky turned out to be either more capable, or more penetrating, and his career abruptly went up, and Lemishev remained a military technical commissar, wandering through various secret bases of the Red Air Force. Fleet. True, there were several rather interesting inventions that were even tested at the Red Army Air Force test sites, but they did not go into development - they were all sights and artillery rangefinders for mounted on bombers and attack aircraft using the method of Grokhovsky field guns, as well as some optical and mechanical devices, signaling the crew of the aircraft about the attacks from behind and from below. That would probably have ended Lemishev’s inventive career, but in 1937, fate brought him to a graduate of the Moscow Aviation Institute - a young engineer A. V. Silvansky.

Alexander Vasilievich Silvansky entered history Soviet aircraft building as one of the most vivid evidence of the confusion that reigned before the war in the People's Commissariat of Aviation "thanks to the" interference in the affairs of aviation of Comrade Stalin himself and some of his "faithful helpers" in connection with the brutal repression incurred by manufacturers of military equipment after the elimination "friend of all Soviet inventors" commander Tukhachevsky. Some people are inclined to see in this a harmonious system, according to which all the plans of the “leader of nations” were carried out, but then it is worth taking into account the important fact that Sylvansky, this “Ostap Bender from Aviation”, according to the apt expression of a Soviet aviation historian V. B. Shavrov, under the conditions of the most severe Stalinist terror, managed not only to empty the state’s treasury by several tens of millions of rubles to the talentless project of his "unprecedented fighter" I-220, but to avoid obvious sabotage for this logic whatever responsibility. Lemishev met with Silvansky on the eve of that moment, as the head of the Main Directorate of the USSR Aviation Industry, MM Kaganovich, gave the latter the task of designing and building a promising single-seater fighter. To create his own design office, Silvansky desperately needed people who could understand anything in aviation — he, despite the appropriate education and some work experience at several aircraft manufacturing factories, according to people who knew him, “hardly distinguished ailerons from spars and the console wing from the coca screw. "

In February, 1938, Lemishev, went along with his new patron to Novosibirsk, where the newly minted designer was assigned a production base at the N 153 factory, which was well-equipped for all serious developments, and where employees of some previously overclocked KB - Grigorovich, Kalinin and Nazarov. For two whole years, the construction of the fighter with the declared characteristics close to amazing continued, but Silvansky himself was not engaged in calculations, but was engaged only in finding all sorts of opportunities to move his base from Siberia closer to Moscow, "to the center of civilization." However, he helped his subordinates at least by not interfering, but closer to completing the work, when it turned out that even at the design stage of the aircraft, one seemingly minor miscalculation in the 30 engine layout design, the chief designer “rolled up sleeves” and He took up "correcting mistakes" personally (literally with the help of a sledge hammer and hacksaw, beating off the engine parts protruding from the contours and cutting off the ends of the propeller blades clinging to the ground), which ultimately destroyed the project.



Lemishev did little to help Silvansky in this situation, because, being a technician, he understood little in aerodynamics, to which the whole problem was reduced. He introduced many improvements to the X-NUMX scheme, which distinguished the Silvansky fighter from the creations of its competitors, but other specialists had to adapt these improvements, and for the most part they had similar qualifications to the chief designer. Lemishev also tried to construct a synchronizer for the guns, which would help solve at least some of the attendant problems, but there was no time left, and he had only to watch Silvansky destroy the fighter with his own hands, powerfully scattering amateurish orders to motorists, gunmakers and linkers who, not wanting to argue with a petty tyrant, dutifully put into practice all of his foolish fantasies.



Meanwhile, the I-220 was assigned the duplicate designation "Joseph Stalin" (the developers themselves ironically called it "The Sylvan Fighter") and a noisy advertising campaign began (in the appropriate circles, of course) in his representation. The mockup commission, somehow incomprehensibly allowing the design to be drafted, was particularly agitated by the Sylvan Fighter version with two cannons, four machine guns and bomb racks under the wings: if it were implemented, the I-220 would be one of the most formidable fighters in the world - vaunted "Messerschmitt-109" and tested by Chkalov himself Polykarpovsky AND-180 could "rest". And no one “upstairs” for some reason thought that the 23-year-old (!) Young man, if he was not a hidden genius, could not even theoretically have the experience that the world-recognized authorities possessed - Messerschmitt, Polikarpov and many, many others, whose names are forever listed in the tables of history. But Lemishev saw it perfectly, and realizing what a terrible catastrophe the case is going on, nevertheless did not show excessive fussiness, which other designers didn’t show teachings: saving their skin from the upcoming defeat, the people from the Silvansky design bureau slowly began to disperse who, using any pretexts up to official business trips, then to the Moscow government "firms", then to related enterprises, or simply to retire.



In the meantime, the January 1940 of the year came - the air battles in Finland showed that the Soviet Air Force, despite its quantitative superiority, lags behind the Finnish aviation by an order of magnitude. The modern fighter was desperately needed by the Red Army, but despite this, in fact, not a single more or less capable of gaining an advantage in the air of the project has yet been introduced into mass production. Comparing to a crazy kamikaze, Silvansky painted before various commissions the nonexistent charms of his firmly stuck at the stage of unpromising I-220 rework until, until he persuaded the People's Commissariat of the aviation industry to move its production base to continue the work on bringing the aircraft from Siberia closer to the “Aircraft Industry” panel, to move the production base from the Siberia closer to the “Crew”. ". In February, thanks to the truly titanic efforts of the latter, the Sylvanskiy Design Bureau nevertheless moved to Kimry near Moscow, but the “chief” again began to “go through the grubs,” and secured a transfer to Moscow itself.

The precious time has passed in these journeys, and the built fighter did not succeed in testing properly in flight. After lengthy delays with final calculations, Silvansky hired one by one several test pilots who almost broke up on that “bad shit” that the designer himself proudly called “the best fighter in the world”. In the end, the leadership of TsAGI saw the light, and deciding not to pull the rubber anymore, conveyed its conclusion to the Commissariat, after familiarizing with which the new People's Commissar of the aviation industry A.I. Shakhurin ordered the Silvansky Design Bureau to be dispersed, to transfer the prototype of "Joseph Stalin" to the MAI Faculty of aircraft construction (so that future aviation engineers know how not to design), and the most important designer to be held criminally liable for subversive activities. Nevertheless, Sylvansky was attracted, but not at all for squandering (read - pocketing) the people's money, but just because he, leaving Novosibirsk with XB in Novosibirsk in January of 40, took the plant manager’s car to Moscow without permission. by taking advantage of the temporary absence of the latter.

However, Sylvansky never got to prison, it is known for sure, because the “car theft case” “withered” almost immediately after it was instituted, but the further fate of this swindler is very vague. It is only known that after Stalin’s death, this “nugget” worked for Korolev for some time and proposed to the general designer of the rocket a project of a “very promising space plane”, as well as many other grandiose ideas and “very great ideas”, none of which , in reality is not embodied.

By the end of 220, Sylvansky’s first assistant for the “supersplaying” I-1940 project found himself in the team of the RNII (Rocket Research Institute) under the supervision of designer I.A. Merkulov in Moscow, who at that time was developing direct-flow jet engines of DM- 1 / 240 and DM-2 / 400 ("dynamic motors" with a diameter of 240 and 400 mm), and even intended to use these engines on fighters, however, only as accelerators, since special aircraft for them have not yet been developed. In January, 1941 of the Year, Lemishev as part of a delegation of Soviet military experts, was sent to the United States to the plant of the company Turbo Engineering Corporation, specially created by the US government in 1937, to study the possibilities of developing gas turbine engines in the interests of the US Navy. The Americans didn’t have something to do with the development of a corrosion-resistant coating for combustion chambers, and because of America’s reluctance to enter into any kind of war, large-scale studies from the Congress did not receive money. Active work on jet engines at that time were conducted in five more countries, from which it was possible to get any information or advice, but Germany, Italy and France fell away for obvious reasons, and in the UK, mainly private companies were engaged in jet development. They were not going to share their experience with the Americans for free or lend them anything, as the British government wanted, hoping to appease future allies, and therefore the only real partner of the United States in this th area remained only the Soviet Union.


... In the evening of February 15, 1941, Ivan Lemishev allegedly came out for cigarettes from the Roraima Hotel in Baltimore, where Soviet reactive specialists were located, and since then none of his colleagues have seen him anymore and have heard nothing more about him. Further data is similar to the information provided by Fraser and Bubnov, but when dealing with the period of activity of the “ally of Jonah Yakir” connected with the development of the X-NNXX, more thoroughly, Kremner suddenly noticed a fact that made him doubt a long time-noticed truth, that there are no miracles in the world. In one of the documents dedicated to the activities of Silvansky, the word “Alevas” somehow accidentally flashed by - this was the nickname of the creator of the “unprecedented fighter” that was given to his boss by the design bureau in Novosibirsk, and came from combining the first syllables of the name and patronymic Silvansky (Alexander Vasilievich).
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