He was born in Poltava. His distant maternal ancestor's name is Baron Schlippenbach, a Dane in the service of Charles XII, captured during the Battle of Poltava and later transferred to the service of Peter I. And his great-grandfather was a member of the 1812 war of the year. The boy's childhood was not easy: the mother did not leave the psychiatric hospital and soon died, and her father married another, and practically did not show up in Poltava. Nevertheless, Sasha Shargay graduated from the gymnasium with a silver medal and entered the mechanical department of the Petrograd Polytechnic Institute. But then the First World War broke out, and Shargey was drafted into the army. He was enrolled in the school of ensigns of one of the cadets' schools, and then sent to the front.
While still at school, ensigns Shargay began the manuscript, “To Him Who Will Read to Build.” In it, he, independently of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, derived with his method the basic equations of jet motion, gave a four-stage rocket scheme using oxygen-hydrogen fuel, fuel oxidizer, electrostatic rocket engine and much more. It was Shargey who first proposed to use the resistance of the atmosphere for braking a rocket during descent, using solar energy to power the spacecraft's onboard systems. He owned the idea when flying to other planets to bring the ship into orbit of an artificial satellite. And to send a person to them and return to Earth, use the “shuttle”, a small takeoff and landing ship.
The textbooks included the so-called "Kondratyuk Route" - the trajectory of the flight of the spacecraft with the return to Earth. All these ideas expressed by him first almost half a century before they were implemented, and were used in the American program "Apollo".
After the events of 1917, the young genius was in the White Army, got to Ukraine. And when Kiev captured the red, he tried to go abroad on foot. But he was detained and returned back. To escape the imminent execution of the Bolsheviks, he managed to get documents in the name of Yuri Kondratyuk, which he lived the rest of his life.
Prior to 1927, Shargay-Kondratyuk worked in Ukraine, Kuban and the Caucasus, ranging from a car lubricator to a mechanic at an elevator, and then moved to Siberia, where it was easier to hide from the NKVD hunters. These were the difficult years of famine and devastation after the Civil War, wandering with someone else's passport and without their own homes, under the constant threat of exposure and execution. But it was at this time that he reworked his juvenile manuscript into a book called The Conquest of Interplanetary Spaces and sent it to Moscow. In the book, he also proposed using rocket-artillery systems for supplying satellites in near-earth orbit, which was implemented in the form of a modern Progress transport system. It was not immediately possible to print it, although Glavnauka approved the manuscript. He managed to publish the work later at his own expense.
In Novosibirsk, Shargey-Kondratyuk built the famous “Mastodon” - a huge wooden elevator for 10 thousand tons of grain, and, without drawings and a single nail, nails and iron were then in short supply. But precisely for this, the inventor was accused of sabotage and arrested. The authorities believed that such an elevator would inevitably collapse. Although he stood then 60 years.
In 1931, Shargey-Kondratyuk was sentenced to three years in camps, but then he was transferred to Novosibirsk to “sharashka” - a specialized bureau for prisoners-engineers. There he began to design wind farms. He sent his project to Moscow, and won first place there in the competition. According to his project, in the area of the Perlovka station, a fifty-meter tower was constructed for the WPP. During the war, it knocked down - it was a good landmark for the Nazis during the shelling of the capital.
During one of his trips to the capital, he met Sergei Korolev, who was then head of the Jet Propagation Group - GIRD, and he suggested that he go to work with him. But Shargay-Kondratyuk refused. After reading the questions of the questionnaire that had to be filled out for admission to the GIRD, the former White Guard realized that after a thorough check of the NKVD, all of the data threatened to be exposed and shot.
Soon the war broke out, and Shargey-Kondratyuk volunteered for the militia. He was enlisted as a telephonist in the communications company of the 2 Infantry Regiment of the Moscow Division. According to one data, he died and was buried near the village of Krivtsovo, Kaluga region. But according to information from other sources, he went missing. This gave rise to the legend that Shargey was still alive and was captured by the Germans. Upon learning that their prisoner was an eminent scientist, the Germans allegedly secretly took him to Germany, where Werner von Braun carried out secret works to create "secret weapons Fuhrer "- combat missiles" Fau ".
After the defeat of Nazi Germany, he, along with the same Werner von Braun and other German scientists, was allegedly taken to the United States.
There he took part in the development of American space programs, including the Apollo project on the landing of a man on the moon.
Of course, the secret participation in the American space project of a Russian scientist who was captured by the Germans looks incredible. But if he really was captured and knew well that this captive and his past of the tsarist officer threatened at that time with inevitable execution, would he be back in the USSR? So Shargay-Kondratyuk could easily hide under a different name across the ocean, as he had already done once in the Soviet Union. And the main reason for such an assumption is the fact that numerous ideas of the Russian scientist, widely unknown to specialists, were embodied in the American space project. The Americans were unprofitable to disclose the secret of the missing Soviet prisoner, otherwise it turned out that they themselves were not able to develop and implement a project for a mission to the moon.
“We found a little inconspicuous little book published in Russia immediately after the revolution,” said Dr. Law, who was involved in NASA's Lunar Program, after its successful completion. “Its author, Yuri Kondratyuk, justified and calculated the energy benefits of landing on the moon according to the scheme: flying into the moon’s orbit — launching from the orbit to the moon — returning to orbit and docking with the main ship — returning to Earth.” It turns out, like this, indirectly, he actually admitted that the flight of American astronauts to the moon was carried out along the “Kondratyuk highway”.
Even more convincing in the recognition of the merits of the Russian scientist looks quite unusual act of the "first man on the moon", astronaut Neil Armstrong.
After his famous flight, Armstrong traveled to Novosibirsk, where he scooped up a handful of land at the house where Sharhey-Kondratyuk lived and worked, and then took her to the USA, where he poured rockets to the moon at the launch site.
Thus, completely regardless of whether the fantastic version of the secret participation of the Russian scientist in the development of the US program on the moon, was true, his great merits in this matter have long been officially recognized by the Americans themselves. But here in Moscow, on the Alley of cosmonauts at the VDNKh metro station, where there is a monument to Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, busts of cosmonauts and Sergey Korolev, there is still no monument to Alexander Shargey ...
But we “contributed” to the Americans not only in the field of flight to the moon and rocket technology. Talents from Russia to American have done a lot aviation. Everyone knows Igor Sikorsky, a graduate of the St. Petersburg Polytechnic Institute, who built the world's first helicopter in the United States. But there were our other compatriots - Mikhail Strukov, Alexander Kartveli, Alexander Prokofiev-Seversky, who actually created American military aircraft. For many years they were considered by us as "white emigrants", "defectors", "traitors", and therefore few people still know about these technical geniuses in our country.
Alexander Prokofiev-Seversky was from a family of noblemen in St. Petersburg province. His ancestors - the military, only his father distinguished himself in another field, became famous in St. Petersburg singer, director and owner of the theater. "Seversky" was his stage name, which he added to the name Prokofiev. Once in the United States, his son Alexander threw away the first part of a difficult last name for Americans.
In 1914, Alexander graduated from the St. Petersburg Naval Cadet Corps, receiving the rank of midshipman. But at that time the first airplanes took off, and the young sailor began to dream not of the sea, but of the sky. He was lucky: on navy began to create air groups for reconnaissance over the sea, and Prokofiev-Seversky sent naval aviation pilots to the school.
Having finished it, he began to fly, but then a misfortune happened. On board his plane, a bomb accidentally exploded. Alexander was in the hospital, where doctors amputated his leg, fearing gangrene. It seemed that a military pilot could have put up a cross, but Prokofiev-Seversky decided not to give up. Having put the prosthesis, he began to train hard, and soon he could skate.
But no one believed that a pilot without a leg would be able to fly. To prove the contrary, a young pilot in a flying boat M-9 flew under the Nikolaevsky Bridge in Petrograd.
By the way, this episode was repeated in the Soviet film “Valery Chkalov”, where a Soviet pilot flew under the bridge in Leningrad, although, contrary to legend, Valery Pavlovich never did this. But the flight of Prokofiev-Seversky caused a sensation. The head of the Baltic Fleet Air Force, Rear Admiral Adrian Nepenin, deciding not to punish the daredevil for offense, sent a report to Nicholas II, in which he asked for "the highest permission" for the midshipman for combat flights. The resolution of the king was short: “I read. Delighted. Let it fly. Nikolai.
Once at the front, Alexander, at the age of just 23, became one of the most famous aces of Russian aviation. He was promoted to lieutenant and received a gold dagger with the inscription "For courage", and then the Order of St. George. He was also known for his valuable inventions in naval aviation. He, in particular, created the ski landing gear for the “flying boats” so that in winter the planes could land on the Baltic ice. He offered a mobile machine gun installation, armor plates to protect the crew.
In September, 1917, he was offered a place as an assistant naval attache at the Russian Embassy in the United States. At first he found himself, preferring to remain at the front. But the power was seized by the Bolsheviks, the officers were killed, the army was falling apart. And then the pilot-hero decided to leave the country. In Siberia, his train was stopped by Red Army soldiers who were about to shoot him.
Fortunately, one of the sailors recognized Prokofiev-Seversky from the prosthesis, who dissuaded the "brothers" to kill the war hero.
At the same time, the prosthesis not only helped him save lives, but also turned out to be a hiding place in which the fugitive took the royal orders and money abroad.
In the US, he first got a job at the Russian embassy. However, after Russia concluded a separate peace with Germany, the diplomatic mission was closed. Looking for a new job, Seversky met General Mitchell, a famous aviator in the United States. Mitchell liked the young Russian pilot, who bombarded him with interesting ideas for improving the aircraft, and he offered him a consultant position at the military department in Washington.
Only now enterprising Seversky could not sit still. Soon he founded his own company, Seversky Aero Corporation. There he created an automatic bomber sight. The US government bought the rights to this invention from him for 50 thousand dollars - a lot of money at that time. Then he introduced a number of inventions. As a result, he received American citizenship and the rank of a major in the United States Air Force reserve.
The economic depression hit the American industry painfully, the Seversky company went bankrupt. I had to start everything all over again, and soon he created the aircraft manufacturing company Seversky Aircraft Corporation. Its main product was the SEB-3 amphibious aircraft that he developed, which showed excellent flight performance. On this plane Seversky set the world speed record for amphibians - 290 kilometers per hour, for many years no one could beat this achievement.
When the Air Force announced a competition to replace the Boeing 26 fighter, the Seversky firm presented the P-35 fighter and received a government order for 77 aircraft, becoming one of the largest aircraft manufacturing companies in the United States. Then he created a number of successful aircraft models, introduced many inventions. However, the Russian émigré had powerful opponents and competitors. In 1939, the company's board of directors, dissatisfied with its large expenditure on experiments, removed Seversky from the post of president of the company. Alexander Nikolaevich was upset by the incident and decided to move away from the design work.
However, Seversky did not break with aviation, proving himself to be a great analyst and military strategist. In 1939, he predicted that Hitler would start a war in September, refuted the opinion of American experts who believed that England could not stand up to the Germans in the air, and also predicted the failure of the fascist blitzkrieg against the USSR. Bestseller in the United States was his book "Air power - the path to victory." In it, he argued that in modern war, victory can be won only by winning air supremacy and destroying the enemy’s industrial potential with the help of massive bombardments.
Soon Seversky was appointed a consultant for military affairs under the US government, and in 1946, he received the Merit Medal, America’s highest civilian award.
A letter from US President Harry Truman, which was attached to the medal, said: "The aviation knowledge of Mr. Seversky, his determination and energetic propaganda activities played a big role in the successful end of the war." An eminent Russian aviator died who was not allowed to apply his talent at home in 1974 in New York. At home, he no longer visited.
Another creator of American military aviation, Michael Strukov, was born in Yekaterinoslav into a noble family. He studied at the Kiev Polytechnic Institute. When the First World War began, he fell into cavalry, fought bravely, received the Cross of St. George and was promoted to officer. Strukov did not accept the revolution, and soon found himself in the role of an emigrant in New York. In the US, he managed to defend a diploma in civil engineering at Columbia University and start working in his specialty, he soon set up his own firm. He built bridges, roads, buildings of theaters and offices. In addition, he was an avid athlete, was fond of gliding. When the war began, Strukov managed to get an order from the aviation command to build transport gliders. This is how the Chase Aircraft Company was founded. Strukov became its president and chief designer, and another emigrant from Russia M. Gregor (Grigorashvili) became his deputy.
But the times of using gliders passed, and after World War II, Strukov created the C-123 transport plane. After organizing the Strukov Aircraft Corporation, he established the production of transport planes called Provider - “Provider”, which received particular fame during the Vietnam War with its unique vitality and reliability, becoming one of the “workhorses” of American aggression. In the United States, several hundred such machines were produced, which were later used also in Thailand, Cambodia, and South Korea.
However, soon the Russian emigrant company fell victim to merciless competition in the US aviation market: it was “swallowed” by the giant Lockheed, which created its C-130 Hercules transport aircraft. Strukov, who was already in his eighth decade, announced the closure of the company and burned all the drawings and future developments in the fireplace. The aviator had to return to his previous studies - he again began to design buildings. Mikhail Mikhailovich died in the year 1974 and was buried in the New York cemetery in the Bronx.
If one of the most popular transport workers for US aircraft was created by Russian engineer Strukov, then another former officer of the tsarist army, Alexander Kartveli, born in Tbilisi, became famous as the designer of the best American fighters.
During the First World War, he served in the Russian army with the rank of artillery officer. I got acquainted with aviation only at the front and became so interested in flights that I decided to devote my whole life to this business. In 1919, he was sent to Paris to improve flight education, where he entered the Higher Aviation School. But from Russia, where the “Red Terror” was raging, sad news came. As a former royal officer, he began to fear for his life, and when it became known that the Bolsheviks had seized power in Georgia, Kartveli decided not to return to the USSR.
Having received a diploma in aviation engineering, Alexander Mikhailovich entered the firm Societe Industriel. He took part in the creation of racing aircraft, one of which would set a speed record. Soon Kartveli conceived the idea of building a giant aircraft for flights from Paris to New York. He could not find the money for this bold project in France, but he was rescued by an unexpected acquaintance with the American millionaire and philanthropist C. Levin, who caught on his idea and suggested Kartveli to immediately go to the USA.
There, before starting the construction of the giant, it was decided to first build its single-engine prototype, called “Uncle Sam”, in order to fly to New York-Moscow. However, the project ended in fiasco. Levin was stingy and put the engine less powerful than required on the plane. As a result, during the first test, "Uncle Sam" could not get off the ground. Then Kartveli left Levin and worked for some time at Prokofiev-Seversky as the chief engineer.
In 1939, when Seversky was removed from his post as president of the firm, and she herself was renamed Ripablik, Kartveli was appointed its vice-president and head of the design bureau. There was created a powerful attack aircraft of the Second World War "Ripablik P-47 Thunderbolt". Until the end of the war, more than 15 of thousands of such aircraft were produced in the United States, while the level of losses they had in the United States was the smallest than other American machines. About 200 "Thunderbolts" was delivered to the USSR.
Then the Kartveli bureau created one of the first American jet fighters F-84 "Thunderjet". It was used during the Korean war, but when the Soviet MiG-15 appeared on the North Korean side, Kartveli made an urgent modernization of its aircraft, and its speed increased to 1150 kilometers per hour.
It was in Korea that the best fighters of that time fought in the air - Soviet MiGs and American planes created by a former Tsarist officer.
The last fighter created by Kartvel was the supersonic F-105, which was widely used by the Americans during the Vietnam War, where it was shot down by Soviet missiles and our MiGs. Kartwell, as an aircraft designer, received universal recognition across the ocean, became a member of the National Aeronautical Association, and received an honorary doctorate degree. In addition to the fighters, he also built an amphibian, a four-engined photo reconnaissance aircraft with a huge range.
The 1917 revolution of the year forced many talented Russian engineers to leave the country. Some of them put America on the wing.