Ilyushin, Sergey Vladimirovich.

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Ilyushin, Sergey Vladimirovich, born 30-03-1894 in Dilyalevo, Vologda Governorate, Russian Empirein, as the youngest of 11 children in a peasant family, the largely self-taught Ilyushin left home at an early age. He worked as a factory laborer, ditch-digger at construction sites, and cleaner of gutters at a dye plant in Petrograd. In 1910, he learned that jobs were available at Kolomyazhsky Racetrack    as a groundskeeper. The racetrack was also the site of the first All-Russia Festival of Ballooning in autumn of 1910, and Ilyushin assisted in unpacking crates and setting up equipment. He was also able to meet many of Russia’s pioneer aviators, an event that awoke his interest in aviation.

In 1911 he returned to his native village to work as a carter of a dairy plant. The following year, he worked as a construction worker for the Amur Railway, and in 1913 he was in Tallinn as a worker in a shipyard.

With the outbreak of World War I in 1914, Ilyushin was conscripted into the Imperial Russian Army, serving with the infantry, and later (as he was literate) as a clerk in the military administration of Vologda. When a request came for seven volunteers to serve in the fledgling Aviation Section, he was quick to volunteer. He worked at first as a mechanic and member of the ground crew. In the summer of 1917, he was qualified as a pilot.

In March 1918, with the withdrawal of the Provisional Government from the war, Ilyushin was demobilized and sent back to his native village. He helped supervise the increasing nationalization of factories in the area and in October 1918 joined the Bolshevik party. With the Russian Civil War, Ilyushin was drafted into the Red Army in May 1919, working as aviation technician of VVS RKKA (Red Army). That autumn, a White Movement Avro 504 biplane made a forced landing near Petrozavodsk. Ilyushin led a team which dismantled it, and sent it to Moscow where it was reverse-engineered into the Soviet U-1 trainer, of which 737 examples were subsequently built.

In the autumn of 1921 Ilyushin left military service; he entered the Institute of Engineers of the Red Air Fleet (renamed the Zhukovsky Air Force Engineering Academy on 9 September 1922) on 21-09-1921. During his student years he concentrated on the design of gliders, taking part in numerous competitions. In 1925 one of his designs was sent to a competition in Germany, where it took first prize for flight time. Ilyushin obtained a degree in engineering in 1926 and served until November 1931 as an aeroplanes section manager within the Soviet Air Force Scientific-Technical Committee, with involvement in the development of the design requirements for the new aeroplanes of Nikolai Nikolaevich Polikarpov and Andrei Nikolayevich Tupolev.   Tupolev died 23-12-1972, age 84, in Moscow, USSR and  Polikarpov died 30-07-1944 age 52, in Moscow.

This time he was also appointed Assistant Chief of the Air Force Research and Test Institute. Upon his own request in November 1931 he was reassigned to TsAGI Design Bureau and worked there till 1933. In 1933 Ilyushin became chief of the TsKB at the V.R. Menzhinski Moscow plant [ru] which later grew into the Ilyushin OKB (the bureau behind all Soviet aircraft abbreviated IL- a military- and civil-aviation supergiant and major global brand) in 1935.

His single-engined Ilyushin Il-2 ground-attack aircraft,

the single most-produced combat aircraft design in history (with 36,183 examples), and the Ilyushin Il-4 twin-engined bomber (of which just over 5,200 examples were built) were used extensively in World War II, on all fronts where the Soviets fought.

After the war, Ilyushin concentrated primarily on commercial airliners, such as the Ilyushin Il-18 and Ilyushin Il-62, which saw extensive use with Aeroflot and with numerous Soviet client states. In 1967 he was given the honorary rank of General-Colonel of Engineering/Technical Service. He became an Academician of the USSR Academy of Science in 1968. He remained the chief designer at the Ilyushin OKB until his retirement due to illness in 1970.

Sergey Vladimirovich had one son born 31-03-1927 in Moscow, Moscow Federal City, Russia.

He became a Soviet general and noted test pilot, and the son of aerospace engineer Sergei Ilyushin. He spent most of his career as a test pilot for the Sukhoi OKB. In 1961, Ilyushin was the subject of spurious rumors that he, rather than Yuri Gagarin, was the first cosmonaut in space; according to the conspiracy theory, his mission had gone badly, and the Soviet Union had covered it up. Ilyushin was also notable as a rugby union administrator who was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame (then known as the IRB Hall of Fame) in 2013. Sergey Jr died 01-03-2010, age 82, in Moscow, Moscow Federal City, He is buried at the Ekhimkinskoe Cemetery in Moscow.

Death and burial ground of Ilyushin, Sergey Vladimirovich.


From 1937 to 1970 Ilyushin also served as a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. He, here with Brezhnev who died on 09-02-1977, age 82 in Moscow, RSFSR, USSR and was buried on the Novodevichy Cemetery, in Section 7. Radek Hroch my friend from the Czech Republic visited the cemetery and sent me the grave photo’s.


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