Peter Nesterov lived a short, but surprisingly bright life. He entered stories Russia, not only as the founder of aerobatics, but the first combat ram. It was an unparalleled case. Nesterov died, ramming an enemy plane, defending the honor and glory of his homeland. He destroyed the enemy aircraft, having no other means of dealing with enemy pilots. The name of Nesterov is entered in gold letters in the annals of Russian and world aviation.
Peter Nikolaevich Nesterov was born in Nizhny Novgorod 15 (27) in February 1887. His parents were the officer-tutor of the cadet corps Nikolai Fedorovich and Margarita Viktorovna. My father died early in the year 1890, so Margarita with four children had to move to the Widow's house. So, in Russia were called institutions for the care of the poor, maimed and widows of persons in the public service. Peter graduated from the Nizhny Novgorod Cadet Corps, where his father had previously served. As one of the best students, he was sent to the Mikhailovsky Artillery School. Having passed the final exams perfectly, Peter in 1906 was promoted to second lieutenant and was assigned to 9 of the East Siberian Rifle Artillery Brigade for distribution. He served in the Far East.
Since 1910, he began to get involved in aeronautics, built a glider and made a flight on it. In the 1911 year, while on vacation in Nizhny Novgorod, Nesterov met a student of the “father of Russian aviation,” Professor N. Ye. Zhukovsky, Peter Sokolov. Soon, Petr Nikolayevich became a member of the Nizhny Novgorod Society of Aeronautics. Already in the 1912 year, Peter passed the exams for the title of pilot-aviator and military pilot and made the first independent flight. In 1913, Nesterov graduated from the aviation department of the Gatchina Aeronautical School. In May, NNSTERS 1913 was transferred to an aviation squad in Kiev, and then to the 11 body corps. Soon Peter Nesterov became the commander of the squad.
Nesterov was not only an experienced pilot, but also fond of design. Based on a study of the flight of birds, Nesterov developed and proposed to the military department a draft aircraft without vertical tail. Initially, the project was rejected, but Nesterov improved his car and approved it. True, without funding. In the 1914 year, Nesterov, with the help of the senior mechanic of the detachment G. M. Nelidova, improved the “Newport-4” aircraft. He removed the vertical tail, shortened the fuselage by 0,7 m, increased the span of the elevators. Tests revealed significant project flaws. Later Nesterov was engaged in the development of single-speed aircraft. Develop a project prevented the war.
At the same time, Nesterov was doing a lot of work on the use of aviation. He practiced tactics of air combat, night flights, methods of interaction of aviation with ground forces. He conducted the first in the history of aviation route aerial survey. Peter Nesterov substantiated in theory the possibility of performing deep turns and put them into practice. In the same period, he had the idea of a "dead loop". In theory, he proved this possibility back in the 1912 year. “Air is a completely homogeneous medium in all directions. He will hold the aircraft in any position if it is properly managed, ”the pilot wrote.
In the 1913 year, such shaped flights as steep turns and spirals have already appeared, but in the view of the aeronauts there were also “critical angles of death”. It was believed that after the transition of these critical angles, the plane could not be leveled and doomed. This theory and wanted to destroy Nesterov, to prove that an experienced and reasonable pilot can level the car from any position, if the height allows.
The French initially gave fame to the discoverer of the "dead loop" to the outstanding ace Adolf Pegu. However, Peg made these aerobatics a week after the Russian pilot. True, he 19 August 1913 of the year (1 September) at the airport Juvizi and Bük, near Paris, showed flying up the wheels on the Blerio-11 monoplane. The French pilot made a diving descent, rolled the plane on his back, and, flying some distance down with his head, again leveled the car. Pegu later repeated this more than once. In addition, in the 1912, there was a case of unintentionally flying head down. He made the French pilot Aubrey. The plane overturned by the wind, but the pilot was able to level the car. The Russian pilot made a “dead loop”, that is, he described a full circle in the vertical plane. In October, 1913, during his stay in Moscow, Pegu personally recognized the primacy of Nesterov in the performance of the "dead loop".
Nesterov made a "dead loop" consciously, it was not an accident. In the 1912 year, while studying at the aviation school in Gatchina and in Warsaw, Nesterov repeatedly stated the possibility of such a flight and that he would make it an element of aerobatics. For almost a year a Russian pilot theoretically and practically studied the possibility of such a flight. He sought clarification on some of the complex issues of aerodynamics to Professor Zhukovsky. The pilot made a “dead loop” scheme: the required design height is about 800 – 1000 m, the dive trajectory without a motor is up to the height 600 – 700 m, etc.
Nesterov made his historic flight on the Newpor — 4 aircraft with the Gnome engine in 70 l. with. in Kiev in 6 hours of the evening 27 August (9 September) 1913 of the year. The pilot did not say that he intended to fulfill his cherished dream neither to his wife nor close friends. Only some pilots and mechanics noticed that Peter Nikolaevich very tightly attached to the seat of the plane with special straps before the flight. Rising to a height of approximately 1 thousand meters, Peter Nesterov turned off the engine and began to plan, almost vertically. Decreasing, thus, to the height of 600 meters and acquiring great speed, the Russian pilot turned on the engine and leveled the car. Then he began to raise the plane steeply up, and Newpor made a circle in the vertical plane. The pilot turned upside down. The audience was shocked.
In Russia, Nesterov’s priority was not immediately recognized. Unfortunately, tsarist Russia, like the current Russian Federation, was ill with admiration for everything Western. When Pegu repeated the "dead loop", the European and Russian press immediately gave the palm to the well-known French aviator, without complicating himself with the analysis of events. Nesterov, caring for the honor and prestige of the motherland, was forced to protest in the newspaper "Light". What is interesting is that Nesterov was nearly put under arrest for "dead loop" ... "for the risk of state property." And the command has forbidden pilots to use a tactical novelty neither in demonstration performances, nor in the educational process. Even in a congratulatory telegram, Nesterov was recommended not to repeat the “loop”.
4 September 1913 Russian pilot made a description of the flight in the Paris newspaper "Manit". September 8 flight with the performance of the "Dead Loop" repeated test pilot Blerio Adolf Pegu. Frenchman Pegu was immediately called the father of the "dead loop". Pegu himself did not think so, adding that he actually did stretch the letter S in the air in the vertical plane, and this is not yet a “dead loop”. However, he was not listened to. The enterprising chef of Pegu, aircraft designer Louis Bleriot, immediately opened a "dead loop" course in his flying schools. Blerio even offered to teach several Russian pilots to teach the "dead loop". In the spring of 1914, two instructors of flying schools went to France: from Petersburg - A. Rajewski, from Moscow - A. Gaber-Vlynsky. While the “father” of the “dead loop” lived in Russia and served in Kiev. Pegu even wanted to invite to Petersburg for demonstrations. But the French broke such a price that they had to give up the idea. Only in June, 1914, the Kiev Society of Aeronautics made a selection of materials to prove the primacy of the Russian pilot. The materials were published in the journal "Automotive life and aviation".
“More Germans will not fly over my airfield”
Before the war, Russian pilots made many outstanding flights at that time. Distinguished and Nesterov. For 8 flight hours in one day, he made a flight from Kiev to Gatchina (1200 kilometers), on a single Moran-F without descent from Moscow to Gatchina. In the strongest storm made the flight Kiev - Odessa. He continues inventive activity, looking for new ways in aviation. He dreams to build his plane, prepares schematic drawings, and makes calculations. However, the war canceled these plans. Already during the war Nesterov was one of the first to bombard with artillery shells adapted for this purpose. The operation was successful, the Austrian command promised a large sum of money to the one who knocked down the Russian ace. Austrian officers knew Nesterov well. During the aerial reconnaissance of Russian aircraft, the enemy always unmistakably determined which apparatus the Russian ace controlled. When his airplane showed up, the Austrians indicated: Das ist Nesteroff!
Nesterov carefully studied the experience of the Balkan war 1912-1913. and believed that the fighter aircraft would be the main means of dealing with enemy aircraft, although he did not forget about the role of anti-aircraft artillery. In the First World War, Nesterov fought on the South-Western Front, being the head of the squadron. The Austrian aircraft of the Albatross system, which conducted reconnaissance flights over their airfield in the area of Zholkva, Lviv Province, annoyed the Russian aviators. 8 September (August 26 old style) 1914, the Austrian appeared twice. The first time he dropped two bombs, one on the radio station, the other on the airfield. Russian pilots could not knock him down. The command believed that the aircraft needed only for reconnaissance and at the beginning of the war the aircraft of all the warring powers did not have weapons. Sometimes pilots exchanged fire with carbines and revolvers.
Nesterov said: "More Germans will not fly over my airfield." When the Austrian plane showed up for the second time, Nesterov immediately rushed to his unit and quickly raised it, fearing to miss the enemy. Nesterov's plane quickly overtook the enemy and rammed it. Both pilots died. Nesterov died the death of the hero. He was only 27 years old.
It must be said that Nesterov had no intention of destroying the enemy's plane at the cost of his life. He believed that there were chances for a favorable outcome, and the further practice of rams confirmed his idea. The idea of destroying an enemy aircraft by hitting the wheels of its own car on the supporting surfaces of the enemy’s machine began with Nesterov from the very beginning of the war. Nesterov constantly worked on this idea. In particular, to destroy enemy airships and aerostats, the Russian pilot prepared a mine knife at the end of the fuselage, next to a crutch. The knife could be placed in a vertical dangerous position with the help of a cable that went into the pilot's cabin. And for hitting the enemy's plane, Nesterov developed a system of special cables with weights that were issued when passing over the enemy's machine. In addition, he believed that it was possible to shoot down an enemy aircraft by hitting the wheels on the upper plane. Nesterov correctly calculated that a strike from above would bring down the enemy aircraft. But, apparently, did not calculate the physical forces of man. It is believed that a blow to the windshield Nesterov died or lost consciousness.
The funeral of Nesterov passed 31 August in Kiev. A huge white propeller cross was erected on the tombstone. At the bottom of the cross, they made an inscription: "Traveler, kneel down, Nesterov rests here."
Application. P. Nesterov. How I made a “dead loop”.
Source: S. Gribanov. Pilots of His Majesty. M, 2007.
I will try now myself to state to you my motivations and impressions of my flight.
I really planned to make my noose a long time ago to prove my principles of controlling the apparatus, which were radically at variance with the prevailing views.
In view of the strong attacks and wrong, sometimes downright abusive explanations and comparisons read by me in different newspapers, I don’t have to be “modest” in my description, as you have written, I must finally express myself! ..
I started my aviation activity in 1910, after the first time I saw the flight of one of our famous aviators.
The aviator flew on the Farman, making a turn completely without heels. Every turn of the airplane made my heart shrink; I was afraid that the airplane would tip over into the curve.
Every day we can observe how birds fly, we see all their evolution in the air: turns, ups, downs, etc.
It would seem that, flying, it was necessary to take an example from them - natural flyers; and what did I see?
The flying device, rudder-finned (which no bird has!), Moves in the air, as if it has no laws of inertia or centrifugal forces.
From that day I began to seriously study aviation, in the evenings from books, and in the afternoon - watching birds fly.
First of all, I theoretically proved to myself that the turn on the airplane should certainly be with the corresponding roll, that is, the inclination of the inner to turn the wing down, and that, no matter how great the roll of the apparatus is from the other side, it is not dangerous if the roll angle is steepness turning.
Then I began to understand the principle of control of the apparatus and first of all asked myself the question: where did these specific steering wheels come from?
It turns out that this is the most primitive way to control the movement, primarily appearing in human culture, namely: the rudders were used at the first means of transportation, that is, on rafts, then on boats and steamers ... generally on water.
But this method is far from perfect on the water, as the fish uses a more perfect way, namely, bending their bodies with the corresponding tail evolutions, which have nothing in common with the rudders.
A steamer or boat cannot bend the hull, because it is broken at an angle, that is, the steering wheel is set, but if the steamer was made to make a keel that could bend, the steamer would be several times more agile.
But if this method on the water is even more or less rational, then it simply does not fit in the air and can only remain in use by airships, that is, controlled balloons.
Having come to the last conclusion, I started designing my airplane ...
Having the misfortune of becoming an inventor without the means, I had to seek help from the military department.
In 1912, I defended my project and presented my principles for operating the aeronautical committee. I couldn’t argue against management theory because it was clear, but I preached rolls that were considered dangerous at the time, and this led everyone to doubt if the practical application of my theory was possible ... I hadn’t flown an airplane yet, having Only a few successful flights on gliders, which really have no rudders, and they are controlled only by the list, but, of course, these flights could not be convinced by the committee, which was already present flying on airplanes.
They did not give me any money, but they did not want to apply for assignment to the aviation department for flight training, predicting to me that I would change my views when I learned to fly.
In July last year, I began to study. September 12 flew out on its own, and although there is still no year for me to fly, I still managed to fly enough during this time and not only did not change my views, but I proved their correctness in practice with a number of my flights.
I used to think that when controlling the apparatus as previously taught and how it is still taught in some schools, one can still modestly fly at the airfield, but now, having experienced various apparatus positions, in which it can be put in a gust of wind and which should be gliding on the tail or the wing - I see that most of the accidents that you have to read daily in newspapers come from the wrong maneuvers of the pilot. But ... so he was taught ...
They demand from us in the design of the device the “instinctive” control. It was this “instinctive” management that caused the death of many comrades and colleagues in aviation.
I will give a few examples. If the apparatus slides onto the wing, then an instinctive movement is usually made with the handle of the rudder in the opposite direction, with the result that the apparatus is picked up and even greater slip is placed on the wing and on the tail. If the height is small - there is a disaster.
I have proved that in cases of sliding it is necessary, against instinct, to turn the device in the direction of sliding, so that the latter turns into planning.
Before the obstacle you need to turn sharply; roll without roll is impossible; the pilot “instinctively” will be afraid to make a big roll and will fly on the obstacle.
When turning, some pilots do not even allow the thought of taking a handle on a climb, and in our company almost all the comrades turn the wheel.
Sometimes you have to plan on a very small platform, which is impossible with a very sharp turn, that is, with a large roll and taking the wheel of depth, but in the planning, each “instinctively” it seems that the wheel of depth should be on the decline.
And many more interesting positions can be found when the “instinctive” movement can destroy the aviator.
Here, to prove my views, I did, as some call, dangerous tricks, or “tricks”, like rolls with roll up to 85 degrees, gentle planning slopes, at which the screw stopped at Newpore, made the device slide on the wing or on the tail and leveling it up to be ready for anything, and finally, for final proof, as an example of turning an airplane with just the depth wheel, I made a turn in a vertical plane, that is, a “dead loop”.
Thanks to similar experiments, I am not afraid of any position of the device in the air, and my comrades now know what needs to be done in this or that case.
The “dead loop” seems terrible at first glance, but if you make at least a rough calculation, it becomes clear that a turn in the vertical plane is possible.
I haven’t done my experience so far, only because I haven’t first figured out all the situations in which I could find myself ... during the performance; and then I expected my new apparatus, which I could settle in my own way.
Having recently received the “Newport” apparatus, the assembly of the “Dux” plant, and having made no more than 10 hours on it, I decided to finally fulfill my dream.
I did not warn anyone about my experience, although everyone knew that I was going to make it.
27 August evening, tied pre-belt (path) to the seat, I climbed to the height of 1000 meters, with which I decided to plan. When I last looked at the aneroid (a device for determining the height, in the form of a clock), it occurred to me that in the event of a wrong turn, this device would have to fall out of the jacket pocket when I was flying upside down. But ... I decided to "take the risk" of them for greater credibility.
That is, in fact, all that I risked, that is, on 13 rubles 50 kopecks with state property.
It was terrible just to decide, and as soon as I closed the gas to go on planning, I immediately became easy, and I started my work.
Having tilted the Newpore almost vertically, I began to plan, following the height, in order to have a reserve of height in case of failure.
Approximately at 600 meters, I began to level the vehicle and, when it began to cross the horizon, I opened gasoline.
The motor worked very well, the device reached into the sky and began to lie on its back. My left hand was all the time on the gasoline crane to more accurately regulate the work of the engine, although I really wanted to lean on the casing with my hand. For a moment it seemed to me that I had not seen the ground for too long, but ... I pulled a little more by the handle and saw the ground. He closed the gasoline again and, having leveled the apparatus, began to plan for the hangars. For the entire time of this ... flight, I felt the same way as when turning horizontally with a heel of degrees 70 – 80, that is, you feel the turn of an airplane with your body, like, for example, lying in a train, you feel the turn of a car.
I am very anemic: it costs me to work a little when bent over in the booth of “Newpor”, and as a result there is a strong dizziness from blood rush. Here I sat for a few moments upside down and did not feel a rush of blood to my head, there was no desire to separate from the seat either, and my legs pressed on the pedals. My aneroid did not fall out of my jacket pocket, and the tools in the open boxes remained in their places. Gasoline and oil were also held by centrifugal force at the bottom of the tank, that is, at the top, and were normally fed into the engine, which worked perfectly the entire upper half of the loop.
In general, all this proves that the airplane made an ordinary turn, only in the vertical plane, since all the time there was a dynamic equilibrium.
With this only turn, the air is a vanquished person.
By some mistake, a person forgot that there is a support everywhere in the air, and it’s time for him to get rid of determining directions relative to the ground.
When I finished my loop and was already planning to hangars, the thought came to me: what if no one noticed my loop, and even wanted to repeat it immediately, but when I saw the crowd gathering in the hangars, I realized that I had seen my flight.
Here is all my impression of my flight. Many people confuse my flight with the flight of the desperate aviator Pegu, who, in order to prove the strength of the defective airplane Blerio, makes experiments falling on the upper side of the wings. I have no such experience in experiencing, but if I ever get knocked down by the wind, I know what to do to bring the device to a normal position.
In flight, the centrifugal force pressed me to the seat, and the apparatus rested up into the air; in Pegu, centrifugal force threw him out of the apparatus, and the apparatus itself rested downward with the back of the wing, gasoline flowed out of it, and the motor could not work.
In some newspapers appeared offensive note: "He risked himself and the state apparatus without the permission of the authorities ?!"
It should be noted that I am not a green young man, I serve as an officer of 8, I have a wife, two children and a mother whom I help if possible, therefore, to risk myself for the sake of getting a nickname like “Russian Pegu” and so on. not necessary; As for the apparatus, it seems that I could risk it, because so far there has not been a single failure in me or in the detachment ...