Farther and harder. Top 5 Soviet interwar flights


Biplane R-1


Over the mountains of Afghanistan


Our pilots had to fly along long and difficult routes at the very dawn of the formation of the Soviet aviation. Barely young Soviet Russia launched its first truly massive R-1 aircraft (actually a copy of the British De Haviland), when customers were found on it.

Once again, in 1924, internal problems flared up in Afghanistan - the Pashtuns revolted. The king urgently needed to strengthen aviation, and the Afghans bought 6 R-1 biplanes in the USSR to storm the enemy cavalry.

The problem was delivery - it was impossible to dismantle the planes and send them by ground, because it was controlled by the rebellious Pashtuns. But aviation was required immediately. Moscow was interested in keeping the king on the throne and gave the green light to a flight that was difficult and full of dangers.

It was to fly out of Tashkent. The last Soviet settlement on the way was Termez, an Uzbek city on the border with Afghanistan. It was necessary to deliver the R-1 to the capital Kabul, but it was impossible to fly in a straight line - the 6500-meter mountains left no chance for a biplane, which was not designed for 5-kilometer altitudes. As a result, the "Afghan" roundabout took about 450 kilometers - it was also the most difficult.

The best pilots of the Turkestan front were selected for business. The flight was headed by Pyotr Mezheraup - the chief of the air forces of the front, an experienced pilot who knew the conditions of Central Asia.

On September 29, planes took off from Tashkent - 850 kilometers were covered with two landings for refueling without incident. Having slept in Termez, Soviet pilots took off in the early morning of the next day.

Flying between the mountains in the wild, orienting on a map, a compass and rare settlements by the standards of aviation in the mid-20s was a real hell. Everyone understood this, therefore, additional tanks were put on the planes, and two emergency platforms with gasoline were equipped along the way. But all this was not needed - all six R-1s successfully completed the most difficult route, reaching Kabul in less than 4 hours.

Adventures of the "Country of the Soviets"


The TB-1 aircraft created in the USSR became the world's first twin-engine bomber. But it was used not only in military exercises and as a transporter. In the summer and autumn of 1929, this aircraft was to conquer America, and with it half of the globe.

To impress the world, the Russians conceived a grandiose flight of more than 20 thousand kilometers. They decided to fly from Moscow to New York, but not along the shortest route, but, on the contrary, through all of Eurasia, the Pacific Ocean and the USA. It was supposed 23 landings to replenish fuel reserves and other consumables.


"Country of the Soviets"

Two TB-1s were prepared for the flight - the main and the spare. A proud name was inscribed on board the aircraft: "Land of the Soviets." But the crew of four, headed by the pilot Shestakov, almost failed the whole thing - flying Baikal, the aviators were lost, and, not finding the Chita airfield, they forced to land in the taiga, breaking the plane.

But, since they had already prepared a spare, on August 23, 1929 they went on a second attempt. This time, despite the difficult route, full of fogs and difficulties of orientation, everything went well. September 3, "Country of Soviets" reached Khabarovsk. Then - Nikolaevsk-on-Amur, where the chassis was changed to floats. And - go ahead, conquer the Pacific Ocean.

It was only possible to overcome it by October 13 — that was when the “Land of the Soviets” landed in Seattle. Why so long? They were waiting for the flight weather - it is worth remembering that the twenties were still standing in the yard, and the means of orientation in aviation were not so perfect.

On November 1, 1929, the pilots triumphantly completed their flight, landing in New York.

To the roof of the world


By 1937, humanity was already reaching the North Pole by air. But to bring a group of heavy planes there, put them on ice, unload heavy and bulky equipment, and then fly back in an organized manner - such world aviation did not know yet.

But this was precisely what was to be done in order to carry out a project unprecedented at the time - a scientific polar station on a drifting ice floe. So that the famous “Quartet of Papanin” could usefully spend its 274 days of research, it was necessary to deliver 10 tons of cargo.

It could well be pulled by the hefty four-engine TB-3 bombers. But rushing to the ice headlong was unreasonable. Therefore, a year earlier, in the spring of 1936, they decided to conduct reconnaissance of places for intermediate bases. This was done by 2 R-5 aircraft, led by pilot Vodopyanov.


Converted to Arctic conditions TB-3

Having received the results, they began planning an expedition to the Northern Sea Route. Having calculated the volume and nomenclature of goods, having decided on the research program, we began to wait for the optimal time for the start.

In March 1937, 6 aircraft flew to the pole - 4 to the top loaded with TB-3 and reconnaissance R-5 and ANT-7. Due to the expectation of flying weather, the planes reached the pole only at the end of May, and not all at once - the latter arrived in early June.

But it was not important, the main thing is that the flight itself, despite the most difficult conditions, passed without serious losses. Having deployed the tent camp of the Papanin expedition and unloading everything necessary from the planes, the polar pilots flew back to the mainland.

Big rehearsal


It was possible to fly to America steeper than in 1929 only by doing it non-stop (which was not a novelty in the world) and through the North Pole (but this was already considered an achievement). And with the advent in 1933 of the ANT-25 aircraft created for the range records, this became possible.

True, the first attempt in 1935 ended in a tremendous failure. No, the plane did not crash, but just turned back - a technical defect was discovered. But, firstly, they already managed to trumpet about the upcoming flight, and it turned out ugly. And, secondly, the pilot who headed the flight, Levanevsky quarreled with the designer ANT-25 Tupolev, accusing him of wrecking in the presence of Stalin and refusing to continue to fly on aircraft of his design.


ANT-25

Therefore, when a second attempt was made in July 1936, I had to be careful — not the pole, nor America, nor loud statements. Just a flight from Moscow to the Far East, led by the new first pilot, Valery Chkalov.

The flight ended in success - well, except for the fact that due to bad weather the car had to be planted not in Khabarovsk, as planned, but on the island of Udd in the Gulf of Happiness - hundreds of kilometers from the original version. The landing turned out to be extremely difficult - there were boulders everywhere, but Chkalov managed not to break the car.

As a result, Stalin gave the go-ahead for flying to America through the North Pole.

Non-stop triumph


In the summer of 1937, 25 crews, Chkalov and Gromov, immediately flew to America on the ANT-2. If the first for a successful flight through the entire Union had the honor of becoming the first, then they expected efficiency from Gromov - since he was the one who tested the ANT-25 back in 1933 and knew the car perfectly. Yes, and in general was a rare neat.

And so it happened - Chkalov’s crew flew to America. But not without adventure, almost suffocating at high altitudes from the fact that the oxygen in the cylinders began to end earlier than expected. And the Chkalovites did not reach the initial final point of the route in San Francisco.


Chkalovsky "Packard", bought in America

But Gromov did everything perfectly - a careful calculation of the route, a good choice of altitudes, knowledge of the aircraft and vast experience as a whole were not in vain. If Chkalov flew 9130 kilometers, then the second ANT-25 jumped over 12 thousand. Gromov crossed the United States from north to south and was ready to fly even to Mexico, but the political task was for the United States, and the ANT-25 sat in California.

Be that as it may, both crews received a well-deserved triumph.
Author:
Photos used:
militaryarms.ru, aviadejavu.ru, www.parkflyer.ru, airwar.ru
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  1. svp67 April 2 2020 06: 05 New
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    The TB-1 aircraft created in the USSR became the world's first twin-engine bomber.
    Mistake ... there were twin-engine bombers before him, so much so that they still had time to fight over the fields of the WWII, but there were no serial, all-metal twin-engine bombers before him ...
    1. Olgovich April 2 2020 07: 20 New
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      Quote: svp67
      Mistake ... there were twin-engine bombers before him

      Yes, an incomplete description of the plane caught my eye ....

      It is a pity that the author did not mention the design organizations and designers of these advanced aircraft.

      And this TsAGIcreated on the basis of the aerodynamic laboratory of the Moscow Imperial Higher Technical School and FIRST IN THE WORLD OF THE AIR DYNAMICS (1904) Russian scientist Ryabushinsky: TsAGI corrected TB 1, TB 3 and ANT 25

      It was headed by magnificent Russian scientists Zhukovsky, Arkhangelsk, Chaplygin, Tupolev, Sukhoi etc.

      Aircraft R 1 designed by a magnificent RUSSIAN designer Polikarpov.
      1. svp67 April 2 2020 07: 28 New
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        Quote: Olgovich
        The airplane R 1 was designed by the magnificent RUSSIAN designer Polikarpov.

        Well, not really ... it would be more correct to say that N.N. Polikarpov, our great aircraft designer, copied and adapted the English de Havilland DH9A model of 1916 to the capabilities of our industry
        1. Olgovich April 2 2020 08: 25 New
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          Quote: svp67
          and fitted

          Ivanov V.P. “Unknown Polikarpov”. - M .: V.P. Ivanov 2009, “Yauza::
          R-1 - the first Soviet mass plane designs by N. N. Polikarpov, created on the basis of the British light bomber and reconnaissance de Havilland DH9A model 1916.

          The need for refinement of DH9A is given in the following explanation of Polikarpov for the project: "The plane was created in a hurry of wartime, has numerous design flaws
          In general, the new aircraft, keeping the general outlines of the DH-9A, had 30% less parts, 30-35% less labor intensive manufacture. The mass of the aircraft became 20 kg less than the mass of the original DN-9A, and the payload increased by 90 kg.

          That is, "designed" -it is quite appropriate ....
          1. Aleksandr72 April 2 2020 09: 38 New
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            But even to the brilliant designer Polikarpov N.N. the analogue of DH-9A would not have been possible if there had been no suitable engine. And the engine ... was also copied at the Moscow Ikar plant (GAZ No. 2) from the American aircraft engine Liberty L-12. At the same time, in 1922, in the conditions of the post-war devastation and painful restoration of the national economy, without any drawings or specifications, Soviet engineers using a worn out trophy engine not only copied it, but also transferred it from inch to metric system, developed a set of drawings. This engine was very difficult to master in production: I somehow read that due to the lack of powerful forging equipment (in the presence of a weak and extremely worn hammer from the time of Tsar Gorokh), the crankshafts to the first M-5 engines had to be manually turned out from workpieces weighing several tons (I don’t remember exactly). Those. a bunch of metal went to waste, and this was a titanic work. The first engines were essentially completely manual semi-handicraft assembly, with individual features (therefore, we could not talk about interchangeability). And then, when the mass production of the M-5 was established - this engine was installed on many Soviet aircraft and even on BT-series tanks. And the confidence of aviators in the M-5 came after the flights of R-1 aircraft indicated in the article.
            PS I had a chance to read that the Liberty L-12 was designed by the Packard automobile engineers ... in the first aircraft engine "sharaga" - the engineers were essentially put under arrest at a hotel until they turned up a ready-made engine design on the mountain, practically working around the clock. The First World War (not yet received this name) was on and the Allies needed the Freedom engine very much. And then this engine was also installed not only on airplanes and airships, but also on tanks (mainly British) and even on ships.
            1. Alexey RA April 2 2020 12: 30 New
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              Quote: Aleksandr72
              This engine was very difficult to master in production: I somehow read that due to the lack of powerful forging equipment (in the presence of a weak and extremely worn hammer from the time of Tsar Gorokh), the crankshafts to the first M-5 engines had to be manually turned out from workpieces weighing several tons (I don’t remember exactly). Those. a bunch of metal went to waste, and this was a titanic work.

              Normal practice of the time. And even later.
              When the Yankees in 1941 studied the documentation received from the Bofors for the 40 mm MZA, then according to the conclusion of their specialists original Bofors technology was originally developed to produce hundreds of parts in the most sophisticated way. smile According to Swedish TD 75-90% of the metal in the manufacture of parts went into shavings. So, a 10-pound fire extinguisher was made from a single 40-pound billet.
          2. svp67 April 2 2020 17: 19 New
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            Quote: Olgovich
            That is, "designed" -it is quite appropriate ....

            Yes, even conversion from inches to millimeters requires conversion, and so
            Polikarpov would not have been Polikarpov if he hadn’t done it - TALENTISM !!!!!
            And "the great friend of the Soviet aircraft industry - Comrade Stalin" did not set, in this case, the task of exact copying. They took a plane already known in our territory and operated. The solution is quite normal.
            1. Olgovich April 3 2020 09: 52 New
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              Quote: svp67
              Yes, even conversion from inches to millimeters requires recalculationand so
              Polikarpov would not have been Polikarpov if he had not done so - TALENT!!!!!
              And "the great friend of the Soviet aircraft industry - Comrade Stalin" did not set, in this case, the task of exact copying. They took a plane already known in our territory and operated. The solution is quite normal

              I totally agree.
      2. Aviator_ April 2 2020 10: 50 New
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        And this is TsAGI, created on the basis of the Aerodynamic Laboratory of the Moscow Imperial Higher Technical School and the FIRST in the WORLD of the Aerodynamic Institute (1904) of the Russian scientist Ryabushinsky:

        One can still agree with the aerodynamic laboratory of the Technical School as the forerunner of TsAGI, but the Kuchinsky Ryabushinsky Institute is out of place here - very quickly N.E. Zhukovsky and other scientists, unable to withstand the managerial "talents" of his master - Ryabushinsky.
        1. Olgovich April 2 2020 11: 06 New
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          Quote: Aviator_
          One can still agree with the aerodynamic laboratory of the Technical School as the forerunner of TsAGI, but the Kuchinsky Ryabushinsky Institute is out of place here at all

          History does not need someone's “consent” / disagreement: Russian scientists Dmitry Ryabushinsky was transferred to the TsAGI its Kuchin aerodynamic laboratory (KUTSAGI); better equippedthan the IMTU laboratory: it allowed to expand the scope of experimental work.
          1. Aviator_ April 2 2020 14: 28 New
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            No need to spread fakes. The industrialist Ryabushinsky did not transmit anything to TsAGI.
            1. Olgovich April 3 2020 09: 20 New
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              Quote: Aviator_
              No need to spread fakes.
              The industrialist Ryabushinsky did not pass anything to TsAGI

              1. Speak in RUSSIAN.

              2. Go to school, ignoramus: in April 1918 at the request of Ryabushinsky Aerodynamic Institute has been nationalized
              1. Aviator_ April 3 2020 10: 11 New
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                In TsPSh, you, dear. Is there a difference between nationalization and transmission? In 1918, the oligarch Ryabushinsky had already quarreled abroad.
                1. Olgovich April 3 2020 10: 46 New
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                  Quote: Aviator_
                  In the central vocational school, youdear.

                  You will poke your wife, a lover of "fakes."
                  Quote: Aviator_
                  Is there a difference between nationalization and transmission?

                  BY REQUEST OF THE OWNER-took it, didn’t it?
                  Quote: Aviator_
                  In 1918, the oligarch Ryabushinsky had already quarreled abroad.

                  After the arrest of the Cheka.
                  Clever man, escaped the horror of wild terror. unleashed for decades
                  1. Simargl April 3 2020 19: 04 New
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                    Quote: Olgovich
                    AT THE REQUEST OF THE OWNER

                    Quote: Olgovich
                    After the arrest of the Cheka.

                    Quote: Olgovich
                    Smart man escaped the horror of wild terror
                    lol good
      3. apro April 2 2020 14: 40 New
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        Quote: Olgovich
        It was headed by magnificent Russian scientists

        But did these figures have any relation to the USSR? And what Russian government financed them? And how did these Russians oppose the communists? Or collaborated with the anti-Russian Soviet government?
        1. Olgovich April 3 2020 09: 32 New
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          Quote: apro

          But did these figures have anything to do with the USSR?

          Not the slightest, they were brought up, learned, became designers in RUSSIA.

          In the USSR, because Russia was there.
          Quote: apro
          Which Russian government financed them?

          The Russian government financed them before the Thief, after it they were financed by the Soviet government, again, from RUSSIAN funds — foreign tourists with them from Switzerland. except for tattered socks, they brought nothing.
          Quote: apro
          How did these Russians oppose the communists? Or did they cooperate with the anti-Russian Soviet government?

          belay
          Know that rolls bake, treat, move science - FOR ANY authority: authorities come and go, and rolls, treatment and scientific achievements are ALWAYS necessary.
          1. apro April 3 2020 11: 06 New
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            Quote: Olgovich
            Not the slightest

            Well said ... this once again suggests that Russian engineers are opportunists. There would be no way to raise the American economy like Zvorykin or Sikorsky ... to fight communism. No, the usurpers would be of service ...
            Quote: Olgovich
            Know that rolls bake, treat, move science - FOR ANY power

            Somewhere I heard a good saying ..actors and prostitutes do not touch. They have no opinion ....
            1. Olgovich April 3 2020 11: 34 New
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              Quote: apro
              Well said ... this once again suggests that Russian engineers are opportunists. Would like Zvorykin or Sikorsky raise the American economy ... to fight communism. went to the service of usurpers...
              served the MOTHERLAND: ONCE AGAIN I will remind: rolls bake, treat, move science - AT ANY power: the authorities come and go, and rolls, treatment and scientific advances remain.
              Quote: apro
              it wouldn’t be like Zvorykin or Sikorsky to raise the American economy.

              They raised themselves
              Quote: apro
              Somewhere I heard a good saying ..actors and prostitutes do not touch. They have no opinion ...

              ...what?! belay lol
              this ... what is the relation to ... designers?
              1. apro April 3 2020 11: 46 New
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                Quote: Olgovich
                In the homeland served: ONCE AGAIN I remind:

                And not anti-people Soviet power? Which destroyed the Russian people ...
                Quote: Olgovich
                They raised themselves

                Well, they were Russians. They had a negative attitude towards Soviet power. And they supported traditional religiosity.
                Quote: Olgovich
                ...what?!
                this ... what is the relation to ... designers?

                They are Russians. They must fight against the anti-people Soviet government. To defend the interests of the Russian people, or how? For material wealth can one reckon with faith?
                1. Olgovich April 3 2020 11: 51 New
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                  Quote: apro
                  And not anti-people Soviet power? Which destroyed the Russian people ..

                  Homeland, which always need rolls, doctors and science.
                  Quote: apro
                  They are Russian. Must fight against the anti-people Soviet government. to defend the interests of the Russian people or how? for material wealth can and can be taken for granted?

                  they should serve domestic science-t. e. where they can bring max. benefit to the motherland
                  1. apro April 3 2020 12: 02 New
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                    I don’t understand you. You either take off the cross or put on your pants ... it’s impossible to simultaneously exalt the Russians and kick the USSR. It’s awkward ... the USSR is not your homeland for you. It’s understandable. some idealistic aspirations are not clear. what we do with our own hands. Brains are needed by people. society. who surround us ...
                    1. Olgovich April 3 2020 12: 40 New
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                      Quote: apro
                      I do not understand you.You either take off the cross or put on your pants ... it’s impossible to simultaneously exalt the Russians and kick the USSR. Awkwardly turns out ......

                      this is your problem, and I can only repeat it for the FIFTH TIME: when specialists bake BREAD, treat PEOPLE, move SCIENCE, they bring MAXIMUM benefit to the Fatherland, regardless of the form of power.
                      So they served under feudalism, capitalism, socialism now and, I think, will continue to be

                      Quote: apro
                      .a talk about some kind of abstract homeland that something is needed. due to some kind of idealistic aspirations it is not clear

                      Russia - Homeland.
                      What's not clear?!
                      1. apro April 3 2020 12: 52 New
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                        And ... now I understand ... where the belly is full and the ass is warm there is the homeland. I have no more questions.
                        Quote: Olgovich
                        regardless of the form of power.
    2. rich April 2 2020 14: 00 New
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      The TB-1 aircraft created in the USSR became the world's first twin-engine bomber.

      The first twin-engine bomber in aviation history was the Russian “Ilya Muromets” - created by Igor Sikorsky in 1913.

      Subsequently, Sikorsky brought the number of engines to four on serial Murom residents by 1914.
    3. Alf
      Alf April 2 2020 19: 21 New
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      Quote: svp67
      but there weren’t serial, all-metal twin-engine bombers before him ...

      Yes, and monoplanes.
    4. YORKTOWN April 2 2020 22: 26 New
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      Yes, I, by great stupidity, forgot about adding all-metal.
  2. Vladimir_2U April 2 2020 06: 18 New
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    Farther and harder. Top 5 Soviet interwar flights
    Rather, a "long". ))) And not interwar, but prewar. Although on the background
    world's first twin-engine bomber
    it's nothing. About the Indians, the author smarter and more interesting turns out.
    1. 3x3zsave April 2 2020 07: 05 New
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      Shpakovsky writes about the Indians, Sherzad has cycles about the development of Siberia and the war for independence in America. However, in general, I agree, not the most successful material of the author.
  3. kvakin April 2 2020 06: 51 New
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    TB-1 first flew in the year 25, and at 19 he had already subdued everyone - well done. You do not know anything on the topic, are not interested, write about the coronavirus.
    1. 3x3zsave April 2 2020 07: 10 New
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      Plain typo. The forum of this section is considered "good manners", do not cling to such trifles, but politely point out to the author an error.
      1. Undecim April 2 2020 08: 34 New
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        And the "good manners" of some authors was a manifestation of disrespect for readers by publishing something like written articles and even on a topic in which the author is "off topic."
        The author undertook to describe Soviet air travel, but he "forgot" about the first such - Moscow - Beijing - Tokyo in 1925.
        1. 3x3zsave April 2 2020 08: 54 New
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          Viktor Nikolaevich, I gave my assessment of the material in the first comment. As for typos, you must admit that you should not scoff at them, because it happens to everyone.
          1. Undecim April 2 2020 10: 55 New
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            I agree with the typos, especially since here it is clearly visible that instead of "2" is printed "1".
      2. kvakin April 2 2020 15: 55 New
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        Quote: 3x3zsave
        Plain typo.

        No, not ordinary. The author does not know the key dates of our country's history, if he knew - he would not have made such a typo. Immediately it is necessary to put such in place without any sentiment.
        1. 3x3zsave April 2 2020 18: 28 New
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          And you, probably, quite seriously believe that this word
          sentiment
          Is it written that way? Or is it a typo?
  4. Fitter65 April 2 2020 07: 23 New
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    The TB-1 aircraft created in the USSR became the world's first twin-engine bomber.
    laughing laughing laughing laughing laughing Even in the USSR, such nonsense was not written ....
  5. d ^ Amir April 2 2020 07: 51 New
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    Dear author !!!! you have a typo - "In the summer — in the fall of 1919" ...
  6. NN52 April 2 2020 11: 55 New
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    "I will dilute" a few comments .. I hope the forum users will not be against. (this is from the personal collection)


    Produced in the homeland of V.P. Chkalova.
    1. Alf
      Alf April 2 2020 19: 26 New
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      Quote: NN52
      "Dilute" a little comment ..

      It is necessary to dilute carefully, otherwise you can get an overdose. No offense. drinks
      1. NN52 April 2 2020 20: 08 New
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        Yes, it's just beautiful. ) Yes, and a gift.
        1. Okolotochny April 3 2020 11: 58 New
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          Yes, it's just beautiful. ) Yes, and a gift.

          Still lie that I never tried)))
          1. NN52 April 3 2020 18: 35 New
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            Roundabout (Alexey)

            So gave two bottles)))
  7. bbss April 2 2020 12: 56 New
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    "In the summer and autumn of 1919 this aircraft was to conquer America ..." Amused ...