Military Review

Remained in the shadow of D.V. Leshchiner


Dmitry Vladimirovich Leshchiner belonged to an outstanding galaxy aviation designers of the Ilyushin Design Bureau. He successfully combined hard work, broad erudition and personal modesty.

Born Dmitry Leshchiner 17 April 1915, in the town of Boyarka, Kiev region in the family of an employee. In the 1918 year, fleeing from the civil war, the family moved to Bohuslav, then to Kiev, then to Fastov. In a starving 1929, Dmitry arrived in Moscow to work for his elder brother Yakov, who by that time was building the metro in the capital.

After a year of work in Moscow for hire, Leshchiner got a job as a student at the Academy named after professor N.Ye. Zhukovsky. The path to aviation is open. Shel 1930 year. And in the 1931, Dmitry became a student at the Aviation Technical School at TsAGI. And the merciless harsh regime developed by the difficult hungry childhood, is replenished with new worries and troubles. The first train from Bakovka, where the brothers rented a five-meter room, left for Moscow long before dawn. Then work as a draftsman in a drawing board up to 16 hours, studying in a technical school up to 22 hours. And with the last train - home. Midnight - preparation for classes, sleep for three or four hours ... And so every day.

Developed from the very first working days, the habit of doing the assigned work in good faith and to the end, a craving for knowledge, everything new was not left unattended by the employees who worked alongside Dmitry. Apparently, it was not by chance that when organizing his design bureau, designer Polikarpov invited a young man to join his team. Dmitry was identified in the design bureau group, where the first contours of the aircraft are born. From this point on, the design of the aircraft Leshchiner devoted his entire life.

In 1934, the chief designer of amphibious aircraft Grigory Beriev, transferring his design office from Moscow to Taganrog, invited several young specialists to become a design bureau at a new location. At the same time promised their return to Moscow in a year. Dmitry Leshchiner was invited among others. The proposal to work on a new aircraft, to meet new places and people turned out to be tempting. Interesting work, acquaintance with the beautiful Varya, ardent love, marriage, compressed the year lived in Taganrog on one happy day. It was time to return to Moscow.

But Beriev does not let go of the promising young designer from himself. But Dmitry can not without Moscow. The conflict turned into an unpleasant conversation, after which an order was received: Do not issue documents to Leschinera, ban travel to Moscow. So this word was violated, and Dmitry collected "his farm", consisting of a young wife and a devoted shepherd dog belonging to her, and, having received no calculation, no documents, he left for Moscow. Already on the way his coat was stolen. So the results of the trip to Taganrog were disappointing: in addition to the acquired happiness - the young wife, for the rest neither housing, nor money, nor documents, nor work.

And in Moscow, in the circle of aircraft builders, there is a rumor about a young promising team of designers led by Sergey Ilyushin, who in two years created a modern bomber. The team is full of ideas and ideas. For young energetic people, the Ilyushins have a door wide open. And Dmitry Leschiner ventured into one of these doors. Not without excitement I dialed Ilyushin's phone number, asked him to accept him on the issue of employment. The meeting was scheduled the next day, at ten in the morning. Ilyushin's calm voice, the tone with which the meeting was made, instilled confidence that his fate would be decided in a favorable direction on the appointed day and hour.

This day and hour has come. Dmitry Vladimirovich remembered this date for life - 29 September 1935 of the year. At ten o'clock in the morning he entered the office of the head of the design bureau. A short, stocky man in military uniform stood up to meet him from behind the desk covered with drawings, and giving a hand for acquaintance, introduced himself - Sergey Vladimirovich. Dmitry told everything about himself, starting with his arrival in Moscow and ending with how he returned to the capital with all the gains and losses. Ilyushin looked at the crimson from the excitement of a young man, listened to his confused story and smiled encouragingly. After listening to Leschinera, Ilyushin did not ask any questions and, picking up the phone, gave the command to the personnel department to accept its designer to a brigade of general types. “Checkout without documents today. Tomorrow in the morning a new employee should be at work. Everything..."

It is known that the subject of conceptual design are: developing ideas and concepts for creating an aircraft and its parts, researching aviation development trends based on scientific information and processing statistical material, identifying the correspondence between the possibility of realizing progress in science and technology and the future need of civil or military aviation; draft design. The main task is the formation of the aircraft's appearance (definition of the design, a complex of geometric, aerodynamic, flight-technical and weight characteristics), as well as the development of general power schemes for the structures and schematic diagrams of all the functional systems of the equipment.

In the first years of Dmitriy Vladimirovich’s work in the brigade of general types, the creation of the aircraft was based not only on the use of advanced achievements and experience in aircraft manufacturing, but also mainly on searches, rather logical than mathematical, on guesswork and discoveries — like the results of talent, intuition and foresight.

By the beginning of the work of Leschinera, the first-born Ilyushins was already built in the design office - the wooden bomber TsKB-26 bomber. In general, it corresponded to the level of that time, however, a dull nose reduced its aerodynamic qualities, and it did not give the aircraft a better appearance. Of course, modern aircraft fly much higher and faster, but at that time the achievements of TsKB-26 were truly record-breaking. So, in 1937, TsKB-26 made a record non-stop flight on the route Moscow-Sevastopol-Sverdlovsk-Moscow with a length of 5018 kilometers with a payload of one ton. In this flight, the aircraft developed an average speed of 325 kilometers per hour.

A year later, built on the basis of the Ilyushinsky firstborn, the TsKB-30 aircraft (on whose wings was written “Moscow”) made two record non-stop flights on the route Moscow-Vladivostok region of 7600 kilometers and on the route Moscow-Atlantic Ocean-North America (Bay Lawrence), the length of 8000 kilometers. These flights were vivid evidence of significant success of the young design bureau. On this plane, test pilot Vladimir Kokkinaki executed even Nesterov’s loop. For the first time in world practice, the "dead loop" was performed on a heavy bomber.

On the contribution of "Ilov" in the defeat of Nazi Germany, books were written, movies were shot. And yet we recall: the first raid on Berlin on the night of 8 in August 1941 was inflicted by the Baltic naval pilots on the airplanes DB-3 (the so-called Ilyushin firstborn of the Central Design Bureau, adopted by the Air Force). The rash statements made by Luftwaffe chief Goering that no Soviet aircraft would fly to Berlin and not a single bomb would fall on the capital of the empire were scattered into dust.

DB-3 after a deep modification, called IL-4, successfully fought the entire war, remaining one of the best bombers of Soviet aviation. Serial factories of similar types of bomber "Ilov" was built 6764 instance. The fact that it was highly resistant, well-managed and maneuverable winged car, is the merit of Dmitry Vladimirovich. On this plane for the first time revealed his design talent. But, perhaps, the intense and happy work on the legendary Il-2 attack aircraft brought him the most satisfaction.

Shel 1939 year. War was in the air. And, like air, the army needed a plane capable of conducting an aimed battle with a ground opponent. Like any new, so far without direct analogs, the IL-2 was difficult to create. Changed layout options, weapons systems. There was not enough working day. Until late in the evening, and sometimes until late at night in the office of the General and the brigades of the Design Bureau, the light did not go out. Finally, the plane was designed. Sergey Vladimirovich went to represent the new combat vehicle to the military. It was possible to understand the Ilyushins, with what excitement they were waiting for Ilyushin on that day.

Sergey Vladimirovich called the project office late in the evening. Leshchiner picked up the phone. Ilyushin asked to go to his office. The general looked tired and preoccupied. Said hello. Invited to sit down. “Dima, military aircraft were not accepted,” he said quietly.

Then he will call Leschinera by name many times and under different circumstances, more often alone or with family. But then this appeal was uttered by Ilyushin for the first time. It was laid not only confidence in the young designer. Dmitri Vladimirovich said that much how Sergei Vladimirovich called him, much depended on their business and friendly relations. Called "Dima" - wait for an invitation to the country or he will call for a visit. If "Dmitry Vladimirovich" - a serious conversation on the case. Well, God forbid by the last name - wait for the dressing. The latter happened extremely rarely, but without any discounts for having dinner at the same table on Sunday. Ilyushin knew the price of good workers and encouraged them in every way. But idlers, careless, inactive, could not tolerate and get rid of them. Especially did not like those who did not know the exact answer to the question and tried to hide it with pointless rhetoric.

So, the military attack aircraft did not accept. It was considered that due to the high position of the engine, the view to the pilot was limited to the bottom. It was necessary to urgently redo the layout. It was a rather complicated affair. Changing the look of the car, and, in particular, the front part of it, “pulled” changes of individual propulsion systems and a whole series of other problems related to the preservation of good flight and combat qualities of the aircraft.

Ilyushin and Leshchiner thought about resolving these issues all night. And the morning the designers were handed the necessary materials to perform the tasks assigned by the military. An improved version of the IL-2 was adopted without a single comment.

The Il-2 attack plane was ready in 1939 and served as the basis for the creation of a new kind of attack aircraft, which closely cooperates with ground forces. Our pilots in these formidable vehicles delivered crushing blows to the enemy’s military equipment, destroyed his infantry, blew up airfields.

Remained in the shadow of D.V. Leshchiner

At the beginning of the war single attack aircraft suffered heavy losses, as they were defenseless before the Messers attacking them from the tail. Errors opponents S.V. Ilyushin had to pay dearly. Only later, the plants were instructed to produce only two-place “muds”, which became a real thunderstorm for the enemy ground forces. The mass production of two-man attack aircraft began in the spring of the year 1942.

The legendary IL-2 has the largest circulation in stories world aviation. There is no other aircraft that would be produced in such quantities. In fact, during the war years, the 113 522 combat aircraft were launched by the aviation industry, of which 36 163 were IL-2, that is, almost more than one third of all combat aircraft accounted for these attack aircraft. There is no such number of hero pilots who would have won this title on other aircraft. Every third pilot who was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union during the war was an attack aircraft. From 65 pilots who twice received the title of Hero of the Soviet Union during the war, 27 grew up in attack aircraft.

In his work on this unique aircraft, Dmitry Vladimirovich Leschiner discovered another amazing quality in the character of the General Designer: striving for the perfection of the design, giving himself entirely to the new car, he did everything to make it convenient for people, in every way he helped in difficult moments of their lives.

The war was coming to the capital. In August, Dmitriy Vladimirovich 1941 spent his wife and five-year-old son Sasha in evacuation to Bugulma. And in October, the time came for the evacuated to Kuibyshev as part of the design bureau. At first, Dmitry Vladimirovich and the General lived together in the same room, in which, apart from a chair and two stools, there was nothing. For a short while to sleep, they slept on the floor.

It was an unusually cold autumn. Early snow fell. Fierce winter has come. IL-2 was built in the evacuation in the most difficult conditions. Designers worked in the two-story building of a former bookstore. The construction of the aircraft began in the buildings of the plant under construction, on which there was no roof yet.

In one of the late evenings, Ilyushin dragged a large knot into the room and commanded: “Dima, get dressed!”. The knot was a full summer winter outfit, including high fur boots. Dmitri Vladimirovich considered that a long-distance business mission was ahead of him and hastily donned things that were chic for that time. Sergey Vladimirovich zipped up his fur jacket, tugged at it: he was sitting well. He grinned satisfactorily and said in a tone that did not tolerate objection: “You will go to Barbara and your son. For everything about everything - five days. Then there will be no time. Say hello. Train in two hours. Go! ”

Dmitry Vladimirovich did not expect such a turn and was already completely taken aback when he pulled a tight bundle of money out of his jacket pocket. Thanking, he began to refuse money. Then he was not quite used to the fact that the General never repeats twice the requests, nor, especially, the instructions. “Leshchiner! You will now leave here and so that I have not seen you for five days. The money is not for you, but for the family. Go! ”He said coldly. Dmitry Vladimirovich, having grasped some trifle from the belongings needed on the road, a bullet flew out the door. The Leschinerov family still recalls how timely the arrival of the head of the family was to his wife and son. Barbara had time to sell all the little that she took with her from Moscow, and now with Sasha, like many evacuees, she was hungry.

Returning to Kuibyshev from Bugulma, Leshchiner with even greater zeal joined in the work on fine-tuning the IL-2. For the creation of the IL-2 aircraft, General Designer Sergey Vladimirovich Ilyushin was awarded the first of three titles of Hero of Socialist Labor, and the design team of his design bureau was awarded orders and medals. Dmitry Vladimirovich Leshchiner - Order of the Red Banner of Labor. This first order opened an account to many awards and honorary titles Leschinera.

Immediately after the defeat of the Germans near Moscow, the Ilyushins began to gather home, and on January 26, 1942 were already in the capital at their usual workplaces. All except Leschinera. He probably caught typhoid fever in Kuibyshev and was brought to Moscow with a temperature above forty degrees. This time, the General saved his life: instructed to the hospital, where there was a large mortality from this disease, Leschinera not to put. He freed Boris Lischinera, Boris, who also worked in his design bureau, from all the affairs of caring for his brother and sharing with the sick ration, which he received in the Kremlin. The young organism, the care of the brother, the care of the General helped Dmitry Vladimirovich to overcome the terrible ailment. Life went on.

Shel 1943 year. The height of the war. And precisely at this time S.V. Ilyushin and his colleagues are embarking on the development of the IL-12 passenger aircraft. From this point on, a new direction in the activities of the Ilyushinsky design bureau was formed, which became one of the main ones over time - the creation of passenger aircraft.

Leshchiner and his colleagues were tasked with developing a large-capacity passenger aircraft, speed and range. It should be designed for widespread use, a long time of operation, to be safe and highly economical. The design of the IL-12 was complicated primarily by the lack of specific requirements for it. And if we consider that by that time the Ilyushins had gained experience in designing military, rather than civilian vehicles, the situation became even more complicated. In this extremely tense situation, Sergey Vladimirovich and his colleagues are beginning to design a passenger plane on a 27-32 space with a range of up to two thousand kilometers. In January, 1946, this aircraft, called the IL-12, was lifted into the air. It had good flight performance (its speed exceeded three hundred kilometers per hour) and could be used not only as a passenger, but also for the transportation of a wide variety of goods weighing up to three tons (then it was a great achievement).

I would like to note that in the year 1947, in the Design Bureau headed by Ilyushin, a second passenger aircraft was built - airliner with four piston engines. The flight and technical and operational data of this machine was significantly superior to what was achieved at that time. But the plane was not launched into the series. The passenger capacity of the new aircraft was considered excessive for the traffic volumes of that time.

That is why Dmitry Vladimirovich recalls with a great eagerness his other aircraft, the Il-28. The initial design of the car was completed at the end of 1947. Since that time, work began on the improvement of the aircraft. 8 August 1949, test pilot V.K. Kokkinaki made a flight on the IL-28 in its final version. The aircraft was stable in all operating conditions and, being balanced, it even went with abandoned control. There were no tendencies to stall and stall at low flight speeds.

Telling about the IL-28, Dmitry Vladimirovich usually remembered one episode associated with this machine. The VK-1 engines were replaced with VK-5 engines and Leshchiner was appointed the lead flight test engineer. Once Dmitry Vladimirovich was present at the command post during the testing of the machine with new engines.

Chief pilot Vladimir Kokkinaki raised the IL-28 into the air and ... disappeared. It took a lot of time, and in headphones, the lead engineer had only a crackle. The pilot is silent. Leshchiner knew that he didn’t like Kokkinaki to talk in the air when testing airplanes. But not the same for a long time. Dmitry Vladimirovich began to worry pretty much. But here in the headphones something cracked, soon the familiar Kokkinaki basok broke through the distance: “Mitya, are you sitting?” “I am sitting,” answered the leader offendedly. “Well, sit down. Do not worry. Returning to the airfield. Do not be bored. See you soon, ”the pilot answered and disconnected ... Vladimir Konstantinovich and Dmitry Vladimirovich were good companions. From the first to the last meeting, Kokkinaki addressed Leshchiner just by the name - “Mitya”.

In general, IL-28 was a kind of breakthrough in the future in the field of aircraft. His excellent qualities led to the creation on its basis of a number of machines for different purposes. Airplanes appear in the sky: IL-28U (training), IL-28Т (torpedo bomber), IL-28А (atmospheric sounding sensor). Converted IL-28 aircraft were widely used in the national economy, in particular, in the transport of mail and cargo. In 1953, at the Moscow Department of Civil Aviation, Aeroflot experienced pilots created a group for retraining on an Il-28 jet aircraft (in Aeroflot Il-20). On this plane, the first regular air route Moscow-Sverdlovsk-Novosibirsk-Khabarovsk was opened.

Possessing an excellent memory, authority, ability to work with people, D.V. In the post-war years Leschiner becomes, in fact, Deputy S.V. Ilyushin, coordinating the work of subdivisions of general types of design bureau, although formally he could not become one due to his lack of higher technical education. During these years, the accumulated design and organizational experience of D.V. Leshchiner replenished with new work. S.V. Ilyushin sends him as a lead engineer for flight tests, and then to the city, where the serial production of the Il-40 armored attack aircraft began.

Dmitry Vladimirovich said that all his life time comes on his heels, pushing him forward to new ideas and solutions. To new aircraft! It seems that only yesterday DB-3 was created. Designing IL-2, IL-12, IL-14, IL-28, IL-40, Il-18, IL-62 followed. IL-76, IL-86, IL-96-300 - the projects of each of these aircraft were carried out with the personal participation of D.V. Leschinera. There are long, tense sixty years between them. According to Dmitry Vladimirovich’s firm conviction, these are beautiful, albeit too rapid years. Over the years, the work of Dmitry Vladimirovich Leschinera in the Ilyushin Design Bureau, his team has designed and modified about a hundred new aircraft. About sixty thousand of them were produced by serial plants. Record worthy of the Guinness book. Not a single aviation company in the world today has blocked these figures for aircraft manufacturing.

In autumn 1994, in the conference hall of the Design Bureau named after S.V. Ilyushin gathered workers of the celebrated air company to conduct Dmitry Vladimirovich on a “well-deserved rest”. General Designer Genrikh Vasilievich Novozhilov began his speech by recalling the first time he had met with Leshchiner. “I was a graduate student,” Novozhilov began his story. “But even then, he noticed Dmitry Vladimirovich’s unique ability to work with people, his creative initiative swirling over the edge. In the lexicon of the head of the project bureau there were no words “I can’t”, “we can’t cope”, “it doesn't work”, no matter how complex the tasks are ... ”

D.V. died. Leshchiner two years after the cessation of design activity - 8 of October 1996, was buried in the city of Domodedovo, Moscow Region.

Press service of JSC "IL". The creator of the aircraft appearance. To the 100 anniversary of the birth of aircraft designer Dmitry Vladimirovich Leschinera. // Wings of the Motherland. 2015. No.3 C. 78-81.
Novozhilov G. Designer aircraft "IL". // AviaSouz. 2015. No.1. C. 52-54.
Troshin A. One of the creators of "Ilov". // Civil Aviation. 1988. No.5. C.9-13.
Astashenkov P. Designer of legendary ILs. M .: Politizdat, 1970. C. 87-96.
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  1. parusnik
    parusnik April 21 2016 07: 50
    The creator of the look of the plane ... Thank you ...
    1. Very old
      Very old April 21 2016 08: 59
      To my shame (and maybe to our common?), I knew little about the IL-Yushin team
      From wooden to IL-86
      Thanks IL-Yushin
  2. Verdun
    Verdun April 21 2016 11: 03
    Curious article. It serves as a confirmation of the fact that any design bureau is not only one general designer, albeit very talented. The success of technical developments depends on many people and we, unfortunately, are unlikely to ever know the names of most of them.
  3. Tatar 174
    Tatar 174 April 21 2016 12: 48
    It is always interesting to find out the facts of history about ZHZL. Thank you for the article.
  4. michajlo
    michajlo April 21 2016 19: 01
    Welcome all!

    A very interesting article about associates and leading experts of KB Ilyushin. Many thanks to the author!

    What drew my attention. so it is the General Designer’s concern for his deputy, how he sent him to visit his wife and son with money, and how he organized his treatment for typhoid fever.

    I agree with the comment of the forum member above (Verdun EU Today, 11:03),
    that the Design Bureau is not only the General, but also the entire team as a whole!

    There would be more such articles about people who created the variety of SOVIET TECHNOLOGY.

    Indeed, now, by and large, NOTHING NEW and breakthrough in Russia, alas, is not being built, but only modernization and extension of the service life of successful samples of Soviet technology.

    Michael, Smolensk.
  5. midshipman
    midshipman April 21 2016 19: 06
    He was a member of the State Commission for the adoption of the IL-76. At work, he often met with General and D.V. Hazel. For aircraft Ilyushin Design Bureau created all the navigation and landing equipment. Glorious were the times. Eternal memory to you. I have the honor.