Man capable of doing
Pavel Ignatievich was born in 1899 in Vyazma, but his childhood was spent in Tver. Here he graduated from elementary school, and then enrolled in a real school. The violent temper and stubborn temper did not allow Pavel Ignatievich to stand aside when the October revolution broke out in October 1917. And during the Civil War, he fought on the side of the Reds. During the confrontation Grokhovsky took part in the battles against Kolchak, Wrangel, Denikin. While in the Kozhanov squad, he happened to reach the Persian border. And in 1919, Pavel Ignatievich became a member of the Bolshevik Party.
Then fate brought him to the Baltic. Here, the commander and mentor of young Grokhovsky was the chairman of the Central Committee of the Baltic fleet (Centrobalt), the commander of the revolutionary sailors Pavel Efimovich Dybenko.
Pavel Efimovich quickly discerned in the namesake, which was ten years younger than him, a man of intelligence, clever and far-sighted. Therefore, quite often turned to him for advice. And Dybenko could ask the views of the subordinate both in some domestic issue and in the organization of a military operation. In the latter case, Pavel Efimovich imprisoned Pavel Ignatievich in front of him and with joint efforts they, as they say, organized brainstorming. And once the commander, as a token of gratitude, presented his subordinate a Mauser with an inscription on the handle: “Pavel Grokhovsky from Pavel Dybenko”.
For Grokhovsky firmly entrenched a reputation as a person who "is capable of action." Moreover, this very "act" could be absolutely anyone. For example, one of the episodes of Grokhovsky’s life, about which Vladimir Kazakov wrote in his chronicle “The Right to Honor”, published in the magazine “Volga” in 1985 year: “Once in the Volga flotilla detachment, where Grokhovsky served, flew with the report of the pilot on a seaplane. No matter how Grokhovsky asked him to give a ride, he disagreed, referring to the shortage of fuel. Then, persuading the pilot to remain in the detachment until dawn, Grokhovsky, with a group of fighters, entered the city occupied by whites and got a barrel of gasoline there, which they brought to the detachment at night on sanitary stretchers. In the morning the pilot let go of Grokhovsky, but did not see the delight on his face.
“I’ll overtake you by a good road,” Paul said absently, thinking about something. “You can knock you down with a slingshot.”
Here is another interesting episode: “Having once arrived at home for a visit, Grokhovsky unexpectedly found himself in the maelstrom of the Social Revolutionary revolt. A close childhood friend betrayed him to the Social Revolutionaries, and they sentenced Communist Grokhovsky to death. Only one escort accompanied him to prison. Passing by the tavern, Grokhovsky suggested eating scrambled eggs and drinking vodka at his expense. The guard agreed, and when he was already sitting with his mouth full, the arrested said:
“You, brother, have a bite, drink, and I'll look into the latrine for a moment,” and immediately disappeared through the back door of the tavern. ”
At the very end of 1920, Pavel Ignatievich was promoted. Not done, of course, without the patronage of a senior comrade Dybenko. And Grokhovsky was appointed Commissioner of the Black and Azov Seas. At that time, the commissioner was only twenty-one. New job required frequent business trips. And one of them almost became the last for Grokhovsky. So the case, which almost ended in tragedy, described Kazakov: “The train was attacked by a gang of priest-ataman Nikandr. The commissioner was taken asleep. During the interrogation, he was silent. Then the priest grabbed him across the collarbone with a rib of a heavy chest cross. Crunched bone. Opening his bloody lips, the commissar spat into a bulky priestly beard. Utrovshis, he said:
- In a bunch! Mandate stick him like a devilish sign.
The mandate of the Commissioner attached at heart level and shot from the three-line. Grokhovsky slowly fell on his back. To be faithful, the gangster fired at the point one more time. The commissar was stripped, his boots were removed. But at night Grokhovsky woke up. Both bullets centimeter two passed above the heart. Railway workers picked him up and sent him to the hospital. ”
A serious wound did not cool the ardor of Grokhovsky. Shortly after he was discharged from the hospital, the guy decided to fulfill his old dream - to become a pilot. Therefore, first of all, standing up from a hospital bed, he wrote a report in which he asked to be sent to study at the school of aviation mechanics. It is hard to imagine what Dybenko felt while letting go of his essentially better subordinate. But he did not obstruct. Apparently, he was struck by the courage of Grokhovsky’s deed. After all, Pavel Ignatievich left a high and prestigious post and began, in fact, from scratch. However, this act was not devoid of logic. The fact is that Grokhovsky had no secondary education, which means that only the way to the flight school through the aviation engine school was the shortest.
And here Pavel Ignatievich was in his place. It awakened the dormant talent of the inventor. Becoming a flight commander in Novocherkassk, he was able to turn around. The first thing he began to personally teach young pilots aerobatics, airborne shooting and bombing. But the results, in most cases, left much to be desired. Especially a lot of problems arose with bombs. It took a lot of effort to get them to conduct exercises. The fact is that in those days, cement bombs were used for training, which were expensive because of a shortage of cement in the country (it even had to be bought abroad). Therefore, Grokhovsky, who always thought first of all about saving, addressed his superiors with a rational proposal. Pavel Ignatievich said that expensive cement bombs should be replaced with cheaper clay ones filled with colored chalk and sand. At the same time colored chalk was important. At the exercises, each pilot would have his own color, which would later determine who “shot” and how.
And while he was pondering over his proposal, Grokhovsky brought the potter to the part and gave him a job here. The master “created”, and Pavel Ignatievich himself brought clay in his cart, which he mined near the location of the squadron. The first tests showed that Pavel Ignatievich was right. And soon clay bombs began to be called "silicate Grokhovsky."
About the young and talented pilot-inventor learned the head of the Air Force of the Red Army Peter Ionovich Baranov. Therefore, soon Grokhovsky moved to Moscow. He was given the post of test pilot at the RKKA Air Force Research Institute.
Here Pavel Ignatievich continued work on inventions. And his chief assistants were designers Vladimir Malynich and Ivan Titov. But Grokhovsky understood that the three of them could not achieve the results that they themselves would like. Therefore, he asked for help from Alexander Vasilievich Kosarev, General Secretary of the Komsomol Central Committee. Their meeting was successful, Alexander Vasilyevich promised to give inventors full support.
Having agreed with the "top", Grokhovsky began to implement his old plan - to try to save the life of a pilot in an emergency in the air. The fact is that in the Soviet Union then did not use parachutes, domestic production. Just the very parachute industry, as a class did not exist. Yes, and many high-ranking officials to "rags" were neutral-negative. Therefore, in the twenties, parachutes were completely banned. And this taboo lasted until the 1927 year. Then, there was an order to test parachutes, but this is only on paper. In fact, not a single jump was made, and the Soviet specialists who worked in this direction, worked, as they say, on the table. A striking example is the parachute of Gleb Kotelnikov, who was “listed as a reserve” after losing the competition for the products of the American company Irwin.
In general, the acquaintance of the Soviet pilots with the American parachutes occurred in the spring of 1929. Then the pilot Leonid Minov was sent to the United States so that he personally saw how the rescue service works in American aviation. And on the thirteenth of July, Minov made the first jump over Buffalo. Then followed a few more jumps. Since the result of the experiment was positive, the USSR purchased a batch of American parachutes for the money that was crazy for those times.
On July 26, 1930, during the exercises of the Moscow Military District air force, which took place at the Voronezh airfield, Leonid Minov became almost the main actor. He performed a demonstrative leap, then it was the turn of several more pilots. And on August 2, by order of Peter Baranov, the release of a group of armed paratroopers for sabotage actions on the territory of the “enemy” was demonstrated. Total jumps that day made twelve people. And the second of August was considered the birthday of the Red Army Airborne Forces.
He experienced the "American miracle" and Grokhovsky. Remarkable is the fact that the whole environment discouraged Pavel Ignatievich from a rash act. Friends and wife were categorically against the plan with the self-testing of the American parachute. But Grokhovsky only dismissed them, since for himself he had long since decided everything. He believed that a real designer should personally participate in experiments, no matter how dangerous they were.
The day that Pavel Ignatievich chose to jump was unsuccessful. Already in the morning, the weather was spoiled by a strong wind that blew at a speed of about fourteen meters per second on the ground. Accordingly, at the height of his speed was even higher. Once again, dismissing requests to “think again,” Grokhovsky took a parachute and headed for the Fokker C-4 aircraft. When the winged car climbed to the desired height, Pavel Ignatievich climbed onto the wing. Then he lay on it, gripping a vertical stand with one hand and the parachute exhaust ring with the other. After waiting for the pilot to go off, Grokhovsky opened his hand, holding him on the wing. And after a moment, he was already in free flight. Pavel Ignatievich pulled the ring and ... a powerful gust of wind played its role. Opened the dome "Irwin" demolished so "successfully" that he caught the fuselage support. And for several seconds the plane was dragging Grokhovsky behind him. According to the memoirs of Pavel Ignatievich, he did not immediately understand what had happened, and therefore he did not have time to get scared. After moments, the silk parachute burst, and Grokhovsky, freed, began to slowly descend. Because of the lost time, the parachutist passed the airfield and hovered over Moscow. Such the capital of the USSR has not yet seen. True, Grokhovsky flew even further, landing already on the outskirts of the city. The landing was successful, only a large gypsy camp appeared next to it. While I got help to Pavel Ignatievich, while he was receiving congratulations, the Roma did not waste a second. They quickly spotted that Irvine was made from Japanese silk. And after moments of the dome as it did not, but soon the gypsy women flaunted in new dresses from the American parachute ...
This incident greatly upset the designer, because for one "Irwin" one had to pay a thousand rubles in gold. Grokhovsky understood that Japanese silk was no good for the cost, it needed a cheap fabric. Soviet aviation was developing rapidly, as was the need for parachutes. It was necessary to urgently make a decision.
Then Pavel Ignatievich made three more jumps. True, the latter almost ended in tragedy. But again, fate saved his life. Because of problems with the parachute and hard landing, Grokhovsky received serious injuries that caused partial paralysis. And while he was being treated, he continued to work on the parachute. And his main assistant was, of course, his wife. Like a kind of spell, Pavel Ignatievich asserted that the domestic parachute should not only be more stable than the American, but much cheaper. The latter was particularly worried about the inventor. After all, he understood that if the parachute is expensive, he can not even dream of full-fledged landing troops. Only cheap will allow to make jumps to thousands of soldiers. And it will also be possible to parachute and technology. And when Pavel Ignatiev recovered and was able to walk normally, he and his wife made a shopping march. The inventor decided that the cheapest fabric would be quite suitable for sewing the dome. He himself tried to touch nansuk, percated, cambric and other matters. And then, when the sample was enough, began to conduct experiments. Lydia Alekseevna made small parachutes from specimens, while Grokhovsky climbed onto the roof and experimented, trying to figure out how they caught the wind.