Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences and twice Hero of Socialist Labor, Honorary General Designer of OKB S.V. Ilyushin Genrikh Vasilievich Novozhilov knows about aviation everything. But our conversation to a greater extent did not concern planes, but people whose talent and efforts create planes. How applicable is the Soviet slogan “The main wealth is people” in aviation? However, this question was just not asked ...
- How did the galaxy of ingenious designers emerge in the post-war years - Korolev, Tupolev, Glushko, Ilyushin? Those giants whose achievements we use so far.
- This is not quite true - they do not become geniuses in a year. The path of all these people, which led them to great achievements, began much earlier. If you look at the biography of any designer who has become outstanding, then everything went from an early age. If not from childhood, then from youth. Ilyushin began as a laborer at the Kolomyazhsky airfield of St. Petersburg, saw the Farman and Newport airplanes there and became ill with aviation forever. He became a mechanic, then he graduated from flight school, worked on repair trains — those that traveled to Grazhdanskaya across the country and restored planes that had been beaten off from the White Guards. That is, he understood the design of the aircraft long before he became a designer. The main thing - he had a desire.
He graduated from the Air Force Academy named after Professor Zhukovsky. Already in 1933, Ilyushin was appointed chief designer at the Central Design Bureau of Plant No. 39. Menzhinsky. Sergey Vladimirovich possessed the most valuable property - to foresee what the national economy or army will need, and not only at this moment, but in the coming years.
Ilyushin understood that there would be war. What is needed is such a bomber, which, as he said, will fly to Berlin from Minsk, drop a ton of bombs there and come back. So, at first, the prototype TsKB-26 aircraft appeared, in which all the latest achievements of aviation science were invested. Then DB-3 appeared, passed state tests and began to arrive at the army supply, then DB-3F, later renamed IL-4. The legendary Il-2 attack aircraft, Ilyushin also began to build several years before the war, realizing that in battles to support the infantry, such a “flying tank” would be needed.
Or passenger IL-12, the development of which began in the midst of war, in 1943-m. Even then, Ilyushin understood that the most common at that time DC-3, aka Li-2, would not be able to meet the country's peaceful aviation needs. The car went up in the sky in 1946. Its development was the IL-14, the favorite machine of the polar aviation pilots. From each plane, which was created by Ilyushin, Yakovlev, Tupolev, a new experience was born, which in its turn made it possible to undertake the creation of the next, more perfect model.
Then came IL-18. He has his own история. Usually Ilyushin spent his holidays in his homeland, in the Vologda region, he loved hunting and fishing. And then his wife persuaded to fly to Sochi. Upon his return, he was surprised to say: do you know who flies now by airplanes? It turns out that only travelers and few highly wealthy people. We must make the plane available to all. It was in 1955. A year later, a corresponding government decree was issued, and on July 4 of 1957, Vladimir Kokkinaki, chief-pilot of the design bureau, from the Central Aerodrome named after Frunze raised the first IL-18 to the sky. Then the time has come for the IL-62, which has long become the flagship of Aeroflot.
And this is the story of only one of those people whose names were heard in the question. There is no such thing that the time has come and suddenly a galaxy appeared, capable of creating something fundamentally new from nothing. All this was preceded by long years of development. Take a biography of any designer, not just aviation. Sergey Pavlovich Korolev started at GIRD. In fact, it was a rocket science club. And he launched the first rocket precisely because he was striving for this, it fascinated him. Antonov, Yakovlev, Tupolev - nobody dragged them into the aircraft industry by force, they lived by it, burned. And they managed to prove that they are capable of becoming leaders in their work, not only in their own country, but also in the world.
- Where are these people now? Where to get them? And do they need them?
- Now they are needed in the square, if not to the degree N, tending to infinity. For the simple reason - what we today call the fashionable word “innovations”, we have been in aviation all our life. Maybe not as a concept, but as a desire to make something new, better, while cheaper and faster.
- Are you able to see among the student students who came to you the one who would later become a talented designer?
- First of all, everything depends on the aspiration of the person himself - someone wants to become a policeman, like Uncle Stepa, someone a sailor, and someone gets sick with aviation. There is a desire, which then turns into a desire, and if a person really intends to achieve something in his interest, then he is looking for opportunities to do it. In my time, such opportunities were enough - children's technical stations, palaces of the pioneers, where they were engaged in circles for free. This is one side of the issue. The second is the general atmosphere. The 37 year is now mentioned only in connection with the repressions, but at the same time Chkalov and Gromov flew across the pole, Kokkinaki set world height records, flew to the Far East, then across the Atlantic. And I saw that the area that I like is aviation is respected by all. Plus the slogans “Komsomol on a plane”, plus flying clubs all over the country ... There is adrenaline in every young man, but now someone is becoming a “grab”, someone is climbing roofs, making deadly self portraits. And then you could lose adrenaline by going to the flying club.
- So, here you also need the responsibility of the country's leadership? This was the state program.
- Of course. In the ninth grade, it was already possible to sign up at the flying club, in the tenth grade - to fly. This greatly helped us during the war years, a huge number of combat pilots began precisely in schools OSOAVIAHIM. For the emergence of a specialist, you first need a desire. Then opportunities. And further - study, institute, design office ...
- If the state decides to raise the national design school to the previous level, it turns out, again we must start with the children?
- Everything in this world should be started with children (laughs). I do not know of a single person who, at a mature age, would create something brilliant without a proper foundation. No matter what you do, everything is laid much earlier, in childhood and adolescence.
- You are familiar with Joe Sattrom, the creator of Boeing 747. It certainly can be attributed to the outstanding designers. He did not talk about his arrival in the aircraft industry? Indeed, in the United States, as I understand it, there were no houses of pioneers and OSOAVIAHIM ...
- He is the creator of the best, in my opinion, aircraft in the world. And here the main thing is that a person must get sick with the desire to build airplanes. It is not so important what was in childhood, more important how he will eventually come to this. And we have not all started with models. Ilyushin made gliders, Tupolev at MVTU studied in Zhukovsky’s circle ... As for Sattra, everything was as we had — a yard, a school, a university. Then Joe served on navy, but sought design work. He came to Boeing as a simple engineer, and if he had not had the aspiration that I am talking about, he would never have grown to a position corresponding to the general designer. It took 20 years.
Where should striving come from? And how should it be supported? Any young person today appreciates what awaits him, how prestigious and profitable is the path he chooses. A very important factor is the choice of material and social situation.
In the years when I, having got sick with aviation, made my choice, we had two guys in the yard working at an aviation factory. The whole yard looked at them enviously - they were simple workers, but they went in cheviot costumes and received a decent salary. And if the workers in aviation live like this, then what about constructors. Of course, this is a very important factor.
- So, now the status of an aircraft designer cannot become the ultimate dream of a young man?
- I'm afraid it is. What attracted design work in the institute years? At MAI, we were actively prepared for design work, while in the fifth year we knew that when we came to the design bureau, the specialist received about 1,000 rubles in pure money — after paying income tax on childlessness, the mandatory purchase of government loan bonds. And what is a thousand rubles? Say, a hundred grams of vodka, a mug of beer and a sandwich cost ten rubles - that’s it. Such is the post-war "sandwich index", then the economy was not measured by bigmaks.
I often speak at the round tables in the State Duma. And I say that a young man, after graduating from university and coming to production, wants to work and get something for it. But this is something that he considers normal, received by specialists who have worked 15 – 20 for years. If you give him the same salary right away, then what will the already existing designers say? It turns out that I teach him, and he gets more than me ... From this it follows that everyone needs to raise wages, starting from a young specialist.
- Economists say that mechanical wage increases lead to inflation ...
- A philosophical question. Remuneration may be based on different principles. Capitalist Bob Halperin, the vice-president of the firm, taught me that salary is determined by head, that is, abilities and qualifications. 1972 year, we are in America, our first delegation goes to the company "Boeing". On that trip, I had a chance to visit another American firm - Raychem in San Francisco. It was created by three professors (Halperin among them), engaged in the disposal of radioactive waste. They found that after irradiation, polyethylene radically changes properties. And based on their research, they developed insulation for wires that had a high melting point, non-combustible. If she melted, she did not emit smoke. By that time, I was already general, and I was interested in the system of organizing production and payment. Then it sounded: "You have to pay for the head." I ask: what about your bonuses? He replies: “What is the prize? Today is, tomorrow is not. Valuable professionals need to pay so much so that they are not lured away by competitors. But trouble and loss will happen, it is they who will be able to take the company out of a difficult situation. ”
At one time, our constructor’s salary was made up of salary, overtime, and a small bonus that the boss distributed. And the firm in which Bob worked was organized according to the principle of a national enterprise, all 2200 employees are shareholders. Research laboratory, pilot production, mass production - all together under a single leadership. And there was not even a dividend payment, which struck me: the income was not shared, but invested in production. And there were reports that can be read in the newspaper - how much at what point are the shares of the company. And if production worked with a profit, every worker, he is a shareholder, became richer.
- Imagine that from 1955 of the year - you are 30 years old, you are already an experienced specialist, but the whole work biography is ahead - you are transported to our day, say, to the air show in Zhukovsky. What would you, then the thirty-year-old, surprised in the current aviation, what would you have seemed impossible in those years?
- At that time, we were working on an IL-54 bomber, which was planned to replace the massive IL-28. All the achievements of those years were in this car. Speed - 1000 kilometers per hour. Now the machines of the same class 2500 speed kilometers per hour. That is, the progress is obvious. I would be more surprised by the current missiles. In those years, the work of the rocket men was classified and we had no idea what had already been created at that time.
Aviation has always had the slogan “Fly faster, higher and farthest”, and I completely agree with it. The current aircraft really fly higher and farther and faster.
- At one time, I was surprised at the airport in Nome, Alaska - it was, like a parking lot at a supermarket, full of hundreds of private jets. This is a completely different aircraft industry niche ...
- Faster, higher, further - this is like an envelope, maximum task. And inside it there are separate niches, when planes are created under special conditions. In due time, congratulating Oleg Antonov on one of his jubilees, I said: “There are folk songs, and you created the people's plane - An-2!”. He has been in the line for so many years, he has solved so many problems. And our IL-18. And now, after 60 years after the first flight, there are two or three cars that carry passengers. Anti-submarine Il-38, Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft Igla, the Il-22 flying command center were created at its base. All these planes are still in service, they are being upgraded, changing the stuffing, but they serve faithfully.
As for the small universal aircraft of wide application, our young designers at one time developed the IL-103. I liked their work, and it was decided to pay special attention to its creation. Designed it, as they say, in an adult way. When assembling the cockpit, pilots from the Chkalov Aeroclub were invited; they did everything according to their wishes. The plane was awarded a gold medal at an exhibition in Brussels, received two certificates of the type of aircraft - with us and in the United States. In the mass production of the aircraft launched in Lukhovitsy, it went. It was built 54 aircraft. Then someone gave the command to stop mass production. On the plane are the engine "Teledayn" and the American propeller - we do not have an opposed engine with horizontal cylinders and will not be in the near future; So we made the plane as a commodity - six planes went to Peru, 22 went to South Korea. But now they don’t make him, and he’s good for training and for flying clubs.
Now we are engaged in the Il-112 light military transport aircraft, we are restoring the production of the IL-114, but not with the Canadian engines, with which it was recently manufactured in Tashkent, but with ours. True, it is extremely slow. With a creak, I would say.
- The IL-76 transporter became absolutely different from all previous models of the Ilyushin Design Bureau. Why did this happen?
- At that time, Antonov machines were used in the army - An-12 and An-22 "Antey" with turboprop engines. And somewhere in the winter of 1967, it was decided to replace the An-12 to build a new military transport aircraft, already jet. The Minister of Aviation Industry, P.V. Dementiev, entrusted this work to us; he wanted the culture of creating passenger cars to be introduced into aircraft for the army. We must pay tribute - the military put a lot of effort into this project, and the fact that it turned out so successful was great, and their merit. The command of military transport aviation, headed by G. N. Pakilev, kept the creation of the aircraft under control and helped in every way, but I would especially like to point out the personal contribution of General V. F. Margelov, commander of the Airborne Forces. He specifically invited us to Kaunas, where the division of the Airborne Forces was stationed, introduced in detail the techniques of landing, listed the requirements that the machine should meet from the point of view of dropping a mass landing force. It was necessary that the speed at the time of landing was minimal, and the time sufficient for the parachutists to leave the plane as short as possible. These requirements Margelov explained by the fact that the landing should be landed compactly, since the scattered unit ceases to be a combat unit. Therefore, they still love this plane, and the customers and their soul have invested in it.
And the fact that the "seventy-sixth" is not similar to previous models of IL, does not mean anything. Even when a student does a thesis, he begins with the collection of information: what exists in the world on this subject. Sergey Vladimirovich Ilyushin created a special division, and in spite of any difficulties, we received all the major world aviation magazines. It was analyzed, processed, the most interesting publications were translated. We had to know everything that was done on our subject in the world, because we could not do worse than others. Look at the "Lockheed C-141" - the similarity with the IL-76 is evident. But airplanes created for the same tasks, by definition, are obtained outwardly similar. But in fact they are different. The IL-76 has a very complicated wing mechanization, which provides a low landing speed - the aircraft was originally designed with the possibility of basing on unpaved airfields. Accordingly, special attention was paid to the landing gear: more than one plane took off, a regiment took off, and therefore it was necessary to minimize the formation of a track during a takeoff run. Made. Another problem is taking off into slush, when all the dirt from the wheels flies into the chassis compartment, and then there is hydraulics, electrics ... They also decided that, having made the doors that closed after the release of the chassis, there is no such thing anywhere in the world. Dumping paratroopers into four streams — two through doors and two from a ramp — also demanded non-standard design solutions: the doors open hydraulically and openly protect the parachutists from the oncoming flow at the moment of separation from the aircraft. The IL-76 control system is absolutely unique, it is simple and reliable, and most importantly - even if the incredible happens and all boosters fail, the aircraft can be controlled without amplifiers. Yes, it is harder, but it is very important that there is such an opportunity.
IL-76 adopted in 1976 year and mass-produced in Tashkent. Now after performing a large amount of work on preparing the documentation, the aircraft was restarted into a series in Ulyanovsk. The released IL-76MD-90А modification retains all aerodynamics and main design solutions. On the new machine, the PSNNXX-90 engines, a new flight-navigation complex, are installed, the “glass cockpit” principle is implemented. Plus, the wing design was made similarly to Il 76-96, which improved and simplified the manufacturing technology.
The first aircraft, made in Ulyanovsk, has already been delivered to military transport aviation.
- How do you assess the Regulations on General Designers that appeared last year?
- Ilyushin received the title of General Designer in 1956, and this title was introduced because the scope of development has dramatically expanded. In order for the chief designers not to fight with each other, for there to be a person in charge of all the topics of the design bureau, and to introduce the post of general. At that time, it was unequivocally believed that the general designer was the main person in the enterprise, who was responsible for everything and who had the appropriate authority.
In the new position there is a requirement - the general designer must necessarily be a doctor of technical sciences. But in order to become a doctor of science, this is what needs to be addressed. And to become a general designer, you have to invent, design, lead a team. And if you do all this well, you will not have time to become a doctor of science. It turns out that if I ever dream of becoming a general, I must first attend to an academic degree, and only then ... This is unrealistic. I myself became a doctor in the 1975 year without a dissertation defense, which is called “by virtue of merit”. But at the beginning, in 1970-m, it nevertheless became the general designer.