Ivan Timofeevich Spirin. Flying through the era

To the 120 anniversary of the birth of Ivan Timofeevich Spirin
9.08.1898 - 4.11.1960

Spirin Ivan Timofeevich

Ivan Timofeevich Spirin lived a life full of bright historical events in which he was directly involved. At sixty-two years of his life, he participated in the Civil War, study, work and mastering the profession of an aviator, the affairs of a lifetime. Long-distance and ultra-long-distance flights, scientific and teaching activities, command aviation connections in the Finnish and World War II, leadership on the training of aviation personnel, the development of Arctic aviation, the organization of military education in one of the leading universities in the country. This is an incomplete list of vital tasks performed by the Hero of the Soviet Union, Lieutenant General of Aviation, Doctor of Geography, Professor Ivan Timofeevich Spirin.

Becoming on the “wing”

For the first time, the future hero of the Soviet Union saw flying through a hole in the fence: he was spying on the performance of a recognized aviator. The first performance he saw was absolutely not impressed with Spirin, but after a few years he attended the performance of the aviator Nesterov, and this performance was already extremely impressed and interested. He was so interested that he decided to connect his life with aviation.

Young Spirin was lucky, and in 1920, he was sent to the second combat squadron of the heavy-duty ship Ilya Muromets squadron. There he began to study and develop navigational business. At that time, flying out of sight of the earth was a risky undertaking, as at one time walking on the sea without a compass, at a great distance from the coast. Therefore, it was required to develop and test instruments and methods of orientation in the sky, which Ivan Timofeevich was engaged in. In 1925, he made the first flight out of sight of earthly landmarks, using instruments and navigator calculations on the route Moscow-Kolomna. In the same year he flew from Moscow to Beijing. In 1927, Spirin participates in a large European flight, and two years later, he is looking for Americans who have suffered an accident in the Arctic.

Spirin entered the aviation school as a navigator in the 1930 year, and immediately became one of the best cadets in his group. One of the main impressions of this period was the first independent flight for him. Here is how he describes it in his book:

“With indescribable excitement I gave gas. The plane ran across the field. Faster, faster. So he smoothly separated from the ground, struck two times on the grass with wheels and flew into the air. The car quickly gained altitude. I carefully inspected the circle, so as not to interfere with any aircraft. Finally made the first turn. Amazing condition! Some kind of new, joyful, broad feeling filled the chest. One. On their own. I look at the cabin where the instructor usually sat. Yes, yes, it is empty. And the car is flying. Flies free. And nothing strange here. I manage. The plane obeys. "

In addition to the exam flight, at the end of the training, the head of the aviation school arranged another flight to Spirin. This flight took place in difficult conditions, with a very strong wind. Spirin with honor passed this test, making flight and landing in this weather.

Long-haul flights continue

In September, the X-NUMX of the year Р-1930 carried out the so-called Great East flight on the route Moscow-Ankara-Tiflis-Tehran-Termez-Kabul-Tashkent-Orenburg-Moscow with a length of more than ten thousand kilometers. Spirin was appointed navigator on the lead aircraft. In total, the flight involved three aircraft. The distance covered in 5 hour is 61 minutes of flight time. Aircraft landed in cities, so it was rather a test of technology for durability. All six participants in the flight were awarded the Order of the Red Star. Spirin was awarded the order number 30. The most interesting is the flight along the closed route Moscow - Ryazan - Tula - Kharkov - Moscow. Before him, there were two unsuccessful attempts that were interrupted for several reasons. The pilot on this flight was the famous MM. Gromov, Engineer A.I. Owl and navigator I.T. Spirin. The flight took place in difficult weather conditions - it rained on the whole route, there were thunderstorms, it was very cloudy. To avoid flying in such conditions, it was necessary to rise to a height of 9-4 kilometers, where the frost caused the bottles with drinking water in the cabin to burst. Despite all this, the pilots stayed in the air for more than 5 hours and set a world record for the duration of the flight - 75 kilometers. The feat was marked by the assignment of MM. Gromov title of Hero of the Soviet Union, I.T. Spirin and A.I. Owl were awarded the Order of Lenin.

Flight to the North Pole

Before flying to the pole

The conquest of the North Pole was one of the priorities for aviation. His successful conquest would be proof of the highest quality, both of Soviet technology and training.

The head of the expedition was Otto Schmidt, and the pilot commander was Mikhail Vodopyanov. O.Yu. Schmidt proposed to appoint the flag-navigator of the expedition Ivan Timofeevich Spirin, while well-known in aviation circles. The preparation was long, thorough and tense. It was attended by dozens of factory teams, employees of research institutes and design bureaus, pilots, scientists, aircraft designers and meteorologists. The expedition was attended by four heavy four-engine aircraft ANT-6 designed by A.N. Tupolev and light aircraft Р-5 and У-2, whose task was to close the intelligence of weather, clouds and ice (they were delivered to Rudolph Island beforehand) and a twin-engine weather reconnaissance, which was supposed to fly in front of the “main forces” of the air squadron from Moscow to the island of Rudolph. I.T. Spirin with the navigators subordinate to him carefully calculated the elements of the flight of each stage of the route Moscow - Arkhangelsk - Naryan-Mar - Fr. Rudolph - North Pole, made up cartographic grids with radio direction finding lines to determine the aircraft’s position when flying over non-guided terrain or out of sight of the earth, worked out backup options in case of a forced deviation from the main route. Particular attention was paid to astronomy. Departure to the North Pole took place on March 22 1937, the bright orange flagship aircraft "USSR H-170" detached from the field of the Central airport. Spirin recorded in the logbook: "Takeoff - 12.30". A few minutes later the entire squadron was in the air. This was not the first experience of Spirin's navigating in such conditions, but this did not make the task too easy. The difficulty of orientation in such a location lies in two factors: the uniformity of the landscape and the unpredictable behavior of magnetic devices. For orientation in such an area, Spirin developed its own mechanism, which allowed to unambiguously determine its position by the position of the stars and the sun in just a few minutes. This allowed him to plot and adjust the route during the flight. The weather, however, did not contribute to the flight. They had to constantly bypass the cloudy front from the bottom, then from the top, and at times to pass at a height between the two cloud fronts so that one remained from the bottom and the other at that time was from the top. Under such conditions, neither the stars nor the sun are visible, so you had to go blindly, and in some areas to descend to 30 meters above the ground.

When approaching Arkhangelsk, it was reported that the airfield on Dvina is dangerous for landing because of the thaw. The first stage of the route was difficult. The second stage was also not easy: the blizzard raged. But the flag navigator confidently plotted through a blizzard and snow clouds over the tiring monotony of the white tundra and brought the plane to Naryan-Mar. Because of the bad weather, they had to stay there for thirteen days. And then change the route: fly to Novaya Zemlya and from there to Rudolph Island. And here we had to linger, waiting for clear weather.

The expedition leader made a decision: as soon as the sky clears up, only the flagship aircraft will fly to the pole. So did. 21 in May, the board with the number “USSR H-170”, with the clearly marked “Aviaarctic” inscription, pulled away heavily from the snow-covered airfield, and Spirin made a course to the north. There were 13 people on board. For four hours the plane flew over the icy sea in a gray haze. Only three times Spirin managed to measure the height of the sun and calculate the location of the machine. Rescued devices that he designed himself: they were not affected by the magnetic forces of the Earth.

The plane went above the clouds when it flew to the pole. I.T. Spirin, his focused face, broke into a radiant smile. In a calm, slightly deaf voice, he said: “A pole under us!” In the 11 hours of the 35 minutes, MV Vodopyanov landed a plane on the ice at the northernmost point of the globe.

Landing was a difficult and exciting element in piloting a heavy ANT-6 aircraft on a drifting ice floe. Scientists from around the world have argued that landing on the ice of the north pole is impossible, so it was worth choosing a place to land very carefully. Here is how Spirin himself describes this moment in his book:

“The plane is approaching the ice. It runs low over the hummocks and gently touches the snow. Then he runs along it, bouncing on irregularities, shudders, slows down, and finally stops. There was silence for a few seconds in the ship. Everyone seemed to be waiting for something. It seemed that the ice floes would not withstand gravity, would crack, burst, and our huge plane that had just climbed it would go to the bottom. But the car was calm, as if nothing had happened. No one was the first to break this amazing silence. Suddenly, at some instant, it was replaced by a violent explosion of joy. And then it was generally difficult to understand what was going on. "

A few days later three more expedition planes landed on the ice. A camp was equipped and the first drifting research station in history began to operate in the North Pole area. The crews spent more than two weeks on this ice floe before returning back to Rudolph Island, and the four brave people led by I.D. Papanin 274 day drifted in the Arctic Ocean, doing scientific work.

It is worth noting the heroism of mechanics in this flight: when there was a threat of overheating and failure of the left engine due to a sudden leak, they, trying not to disturb the rest of the crew in vain, started fixing the leak. Cutting a hole in the wing under the motor, they collected the flowing water and poured it back into the motor, at the same time correcting the cause of the leak.

In 1937, Spirin I.T. He twice participated in expeditions to the North Pole, being the flag navigator of the world's first air expedition to the North Pole.

For completing the government's assignment and heroism in the Northern Expedition, Kombriga Spirin I.T. was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union.

Since September 1938, Spirin has been the head of the department of aviation navigators of the N.Ye. Air Force Academy. Zhukovsky, doctor of geographical sciences, professor.

Military years

Spirin was an active participant in the hostilities in the war with Finland 1939-1940, commanded a long-range combat aviation group (140 aircraft) as part of the 9 Air Force. In the battles, he participated as a bomber pilot, in contrast to all long-distance flights, where he was navigator. In his book “Notes of a Military Pilot,” he mentions only one episode of personal participation in hostilities, but indicates that combat sorties during the hostilities occurred every night from dusk to dawn.

In 1941, the war found him head of the Second Ivanovo School of Navigators. The training of flight personnel for the Air Force was combined with regular missions to the front. He participated in the defense of Moscow and in striking the enemy’s rear. During school management, about 1000 crews were released (4000 thousands of people). In his memoirs Spirin highly appreciates the actions of the graduates of his school. As a proof of their courage and perseverance, he cites the story of how the navigator Korin, being seriously wounded, did not allow himself to lose consciousness and continued to lead the link for three hours, and only seeing the lights of his home airfield in the distance allowed himself to rest.

From October 1944 of the year until the end of the war, Ivan Timofeevich - commander of the 9 Guards Aviation Corps, which was part of the 18 Air Army of the Supreme Command Headquarters and carried out special tasks for transporting people and goods from the front bases to the front leading airfields. Aviation connection under the command of Spirin I.T. successfully coped with their tasks. Some parts of the body when re-equipped with new types of aircraft were prepared for combat operations at night and in adverse weather conditions. For their courage and skillful leadership of aviation units and formations, Lieutenant General Aviation Spirin I.T. He was awarded the Order of the Patriotic War 1 degree.

Post-war years and the military department of MIPT

After the war, Spirin continued to lead the Ivanovo school of navigators (until 1948), from May 1949, he was the head of the special department, and from February 1950, he was appointed head of the special department of the N. Zhukovsky Military Air Engineering Academy. From November 1952 - Deputy Head of the Academy Navigation Department. In 1955, he retired.

He lived in Moscow: he worked, actively participated in the public life of the country and the city. On the basis of the richest life and professional experience I wrote interesting books about domestic aviation. Later, life linked him to the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, within which he left a vivid memory, especially in the development and development of military training, which later determined the strategy of growth of the military department.

The military department of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology was established by a decree of the USSR Council of Ministers on July 29 1954 and an order of the USSR Minister of Defense on April 4 1955. The first head of the military department was appointed Candidate of Technical Sciences, Associate Professor, Colonel Engineer, a participant in the Civil and Great Patriotic War Pavel Ivanovich Zabrodin, who prior to his appointment was Deputy Chief of the Military Department of the MAI. July 1, 1957, after secondment of Colonel-Engineer PI Zabrodin the Hero of the Soviet Union, retired lieutenant-general, Doctor of Geographical Sciences, Professor Ivan Timofeevich Spirin is appointed at the disposal of the Commander of the Air Force of the Moscow Military District, head of the military department. The appointment took place on the orders of the director (rector) of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology after the approval of his candidacy with Air Force Marshal Vershinin KV Commander-in-Chief. from the post of the head of the aviation department of the Arctic Research Institute. At that time, military training was carried out on 5 profiles, 3 of which - the Air Force, 1 - the Navy, 1 - artillery. Accordingly, this whole complex of specialties created serious difficulties in organizing the educational process. Many specialists of the required qualifications were not in the department, all the training areas of the military department were 108 square meters. meters, educational material and technical base (UMTB) - only at the level of creation. With the 1958 / 59 school year, the training of reserve officers for the Navy and artillery and in some Air Force specialties has ceased. The curriculum proposed by I.T. Spirin The directorate (administration) of MIPT 15.08.1958, was of a compromise nature.

As it turned out, it was a wait-and-see tactical move made by the head of the military department to normalize the situation. Since the institute conducted a serious struggle on the basic principles of the organization of the educational process at the military department and the number of training hours devoted to military training. However, this year a flight squadron was formed, which included the 3 of the Yak-18 and the 3 of the Yak-18U. Of course, it is easy to say that it has been formed, but what barrier must be overcome to the military and civil bureaucracy in order to put this troop mini-unit on “wing”! .. The director (rector) of the institute directly participated in solving the tasks of forming the flight squad and the development of the military department. Lieutenant-General ITS Petrov I.F., with whom Spirin I.T. the relationship was good and built on a business basis. As a result of joint work on the 1959 / 60 school year, the USSR Defense Minister for MIPT established only 2 military training for the Air Force; in June 1959, the first special exercises of 4 students were conducted, the students of aeromechanical faculty organized training flights on aircraft with double management from the institute airport "Tayninskaya" (a suburb of Mytishchi). In the autumn of 1959, with the consent of the Director (Rector) of the Institute, Petrov I.F. Professor I.T. Spirin prepared a draft letter to the USSR Minister of Defense with a request to establish for the graduates of MIPT military qualifications "military engineer, research physicist." This letter is signed by the Minister of the USSR Supreme Soviet Elyutin VP 16.12.1959 was sent to the Minister of Defense of the USSR Malinovsky R.Ya., by order of which, the proposed I.T. Spirin new profiles of military training of students. In September, the first graduation exam in military training for students of the 27.07.1960 course, the 1960 course, was organized and successfully held in 5. At this time, the department had a relatively prepared teaching staff for classes with students. Of the 1955 full time teachers, half had academic degrees and titles; the average age of teachers was 18 years. In April 46, the Air Force Scientific and Technical Complex Committee positively addressed the issue of the participation of the military department in the state budget R & D.

With the formation of December 17 1959, the new type of the USSR Armed Forces, the Strategic Missile Forces, the director (rector) of MIPT I.F. and the head of the military department Spirin I.T. send a letter to the Chief Marshal of Artillery Nedelin M.I. with the proposal to train reserve officers for the Strategic Missile Forces. A positive response to this proposal was set forth in a document signed by the Deputy Commander-in-Chief, Lieutenant-General T.F. 14.10.1960 of the year. This decision corresponded to the spirit of the times and made it possible to train reserve officers in high-tech specialties for a new type of armed forces. But his associates had to implement these ideas. 4 November 1960, General Aviation Spirin I.T. died suddenly. He was buried in Moscow at Vvedensky cemetery.

Remarkable evidence of personal qualities of Ivan Timofeevich. He was easy to communicate and accessible to others, did not like to punish his subordinates, if it was possible to restrict himself to strict suggestion. Not tall, stocky general respected students and staff, loved by many professors of the institute.

Ivan Timofeevich Spirin. Flying through the era

Opening of the nominal audience at the military department of MIPT

Lieutenant-General Aviation Spirin Ivan Timofeevich was an outstanding man. Having set himself the goal of becoming an aviator, he not only achieved it, but also had a great influence on the formation of only the nascent science of orientation in the air. He was one of those people who developed and tested instruments, without which the flight now seems unthinkable. In the company of the same infinitely brave people, he conquered the distances, which then seemed fantastic for one flight. And in the same company, they demonstrated the reliability of domestic technology and the art of navigation, landing at the North Pole. During the war years he directly participated in the hostilities, competently commanded aviation units and trained aviation personnel for the front. He crashed into aviation accidents five times: he was burning, falling, crashing into a swamp, but miraculously remained alive, although he broke his leg, thigh, collarbone, and ribs. Swooped around 9000 hours. And even after retirement, when he came to engage in, it would seem, only the military department of the former faculty of Moscow State University, he built a unique system of military training, including teaching students the art of piloting real airplanes! That's how active and influential man was Ivan Timofeevich. Such people need to be remembered, respected and strive to be like them at any age.

At the corner of Tverskaya Street, near the Belorussky Railway Station, a memorial plaque is installed in memory of Ivan Timofyevich Spirin. In the name of Spirin I.T. streets are named in Kolomna, Moscow and Cahul (Moldova).

The team of the military department of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology carefully keeps the memory of the hero. In the building of the educational building of the faculty of aerodynamics and flying technology, the nominal audience of Professor I.T. Spirin was opened. His life path is a vivid example of a responsible and conscientious attitude to work, whose heroic mark is left in the history of our Motherland.
Our news channels

Subscribe and stay up to date with the latest news and the most important events of the day.

Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. +5
    17 May 2018 08: 19
    A worthy man!
    The fact that the pilots are better known than the navigators, which was Spirin.
    Although in those years when navigational instruments were at a rudimentary level, the success of the mission and the life of the crew themselves depended on the navigator’s personal skills.
    Their role is hard to overestimate!
  2. +2
    17 May 2018 17: 11
    The photo, aKamrad Olgovich, correctly noted that the navigators had an opinion better than pilots. In fact, at the dawn of aviation, pilots were versatile: as navigators they should be able to navigate the sun, stars and everything. I imagined such a picture: Louis Brelio, Zaikin or any famous pilot of the time, so that he said that he was in the cockpit of a modern fighter? Somewhere I read that in the eighties they made a film about the authors of the beginning of the century, invited an experienced pilot who had a reputation, knows how to fly ALL aircraft, when he saw what he had to fly he was horrified. At his request, a demand, a modern dashboard was installed in the cockpit of the airplane. And then the pilots flew stubbornly and with the help of "some mother" (remember in the joke: "the Russians flew in with the help of a crowbar and opened some kind of mother"). The current pilot will say: I'm not a suicide to fly on such a
    1. 0
      18 May 2018 02: 06
      The bike invented by filmmakers is what I am telling you, as a person with my father who was engaged in home-made ultralight aviation. SLA in terms of instrumentation is not very different from the apparatus of the beginning of the century, and so, to get permission, these home-made pilots were lifted by professional pilots and no one spoke about the "impossible". Most likely, he simply asked me to install some kind of device to facilitate piloting, such as a horizon, and from this I was inflated.
  3. 0
    17 May 2018 21: 28
    Great article. As a graduate of the Physics and Technology Institute, I can add that the training of reserve engineers in the aviation profile was preserved at the FALT (Faculty of Aeromechanics and Aircraft Engineering), which was formed from the Aeromechanical Faculty in 1965. Charges were held at the Shatalovo airport.
    1. 0
      18 May 2018 02: 08
      And who will get the output? Really pilots? But what about VLEK?
      1. 0
        18 May 2018 07: 00
        It is said - reserve engineers, VUS4533

"Right Sector" (banned in Russia), "Ukrainian Insurgent Army" (UPA) (banned in Russia), ISIS (banned in Russia), "Jabhat Fatah al-Sham" formerly "Jabhat al-Nusra" (banned in Russia) , Taliban (banned in Russia), Al-Qaeda (banned in Russia), Anti-Corruption Foundation (banned in Russia), Navalny Headquarters (banned in Russia), Facebook (banned in Russia), Instagram (banned in Russia), Meta (banned in Russia), Misanthropic Division (banned in Russia), Azov (banned in Russia), Muslim Brotherhood (banned in Russia), Aum Shinrikyo (banned in Russia), AUE (banned in Russia), UNA-UNSO (banned in Russia), Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People (banned in Russia), Legion “Freedom of Russia” (armed formation, recognized as terrorist in the Russian Federation and banned)

“Non-profit organizations, unregistered public associations or individuals performing the functions of a foreign agent,” as well as media outlets performing the functions of a foreign agent: “Medusa”; "Voice of America"; "Realities"; "Present time"; "Radio Freedom"; Ponomarev; Savitskaya; Markelov; Kamalyagin; Apakhonchich; Makarevich; Dud; Gordon; Zhdanov; Medvedev; Fedorov; "Owl"; "Alliance of Doctors"; "RKK" "Levada Center"; "Memorial"; "Voice"; "Person and law"; "Rain"; "Mediazone"; "Deutsche Welle"; QMS "Caucasian Knot"; "Insider"; "New Newspaper"