Two wings on his shoulders: the air as a bully was “Stalin’s falcons”
Did Valery Chkalov under the Trinity bridge.
A brilliant pilot, an adventurer and a bully, member of the Supreme Council, the countryís favourite. For a short career in the air force, he managed to earn two prison sentence and was banished to the citizen, but soon returned, received the rank of brigade commander and became the Hero of the Soviet Union. He was the idol of youth, a symbol of the country, it was named after his hometown. On 2 February, the day of the 115th anniversary of the birth of Valery Chkalov, “news” remember about the legendary Aviator.
Sometimes it is difficult to understand where in the life of Chkalov truth ends and fiction begins. Rumors of his aerial antics had spread around the country, even when Chkalov was an ordinary military pilot, they even came to the Kremlin. And while he was behind bars, word of mouth multiply them in the most bizarre details. And when it became known to the whole country, it took the Soviet propagandists felt that people need new heroes and Chkalov ideally suited for this role.
But still the main Creator of myths was Mikhail Kalatozov — the Creator of the movie “Valery Chkalov”, which was released two years after the death of the pilot, in 1941.
Many scenes from the movie are classic, and little did they know that this is only fiction author.
And after the death of the leader of the people, the film was retouched and cut out awkward scenes, again redrawing the historical truth for the sake of momentary interests. So the myth about Chkalov became a separate, parallel reality that some of the key points seems to be similar to the fate of his hero, but not quite.
Way in the sky
Chkalov was born on 2 Feb 1904 in Volga village Vasyliv, proletarian and large, but quite a wealthy family. His grandfather was a boatman, his father became a mechanic-boilermaker in state-owned shops — repairing marine engines. It was interesting and profitable.
When Valera was only six years old, his mom died Arina Ivanovna. Junior raised all the world, and soon the house had a stepmother Natalia Georgievna, which it loved and called mom. The boy spent all his time with senior brothers Nikolai and Leonid, reaching for them, because ROS not for years strong and desperate. According to the memoirs of his eldest sister Anna, eight years he had crossed the Volga river and dived under the raft fuse of the forest.
In 1916 Valery finished Wasilewska elementary school, after which his father sent him to study in Cherepovets technical school. But after the revolution the country was not up to the school, and the young man after the second course had to go back.
He went to work as assistant to his father, a blacksmith in the forge, and with the beginning of navigation he went to work as a fireman on the steamship “Bayan”. Then, he said, he first saw the plane flying and forever in love with aviation.
By chance it turned out that the neighbor Chkalov Vladimir Malyshev worked as a foreman in the aviation Park in Nizhny Novgorod, and by his patronage Valeria made as fitter aircraft in the 4th Kanavinsky fleet. Since the institution was military, Valery a volunteer went to the Red army. He was only fifteen, but the age he hid.
In 1921 Chkalov gets into flight school — again thanks to the above mentioned neighbor. In the fleet the call came out of the egoryevsky school of pilots, and to go had Frolishi, but he was busy courting Sofya Chkalovo sister Valeria. To leave the bride Vladimir refused and sent in his place, a future relative, who dreamed of the sky. So the young mechanic was at Moscow, the oldest Russian aviation school.
Chkalov was born a pilot. It was created for the sky, instinctively knew the car and enjoyed the driving. After graduation he was recommended to the air force and he went first in Borisoglebsk military aviation school, then in Moscow military aviation school of aerobatics, where he trained fighter pilots and then in Serpukhov higher aviation school shooting, bombing and air combat. Those were the rules of training of the pilots of those years. In June 1924, the youngest voenlet Chkalov was sent to serve in the Leningrad red banner fighter squadron named after P. N. Nesterov.
Artisans from the Volga heartland has turned into a fighter pilot elite units stationed in a recent capital of the Empire.
Twenty Chkalov was in a state of euphoria and did unthinkable things: flew across the airfield, flying at very low altitudes and upside down, started doing aerobatics right over the city.
It took “adult” life, and often he allowed himself to be at the service and even fly drunk. One day he went around St. Isaac’s Cathedral, another time on a bet made either 150 or 200 dead loops in a row — sources name different figures. On the one hand, prized for its exceptional talent, on the other, to tolerate his antics and constant violations of discipline would not have the most lenient boss.
2 Feb 1904 birth of the Soviet test pilot, the great pilot of the 20th century, hero of the Soviet Union Valery Chkalov pic.twitter.com/TrkdjYRRzk
— Komsomolskaya Pravda (@kpru) 2 Feb 2019
The young pilot literally did not get out from the guardhouse, but it didn’t help. In the end, just a year Chkalov screwed really: being drunk, when all honest people were hit in the face with a senior officer who came to remove him from flying. Subsequently, it tried to explain the personal hostility and chicanery of the commander to the young pilot, who defeated him in a dogfight. In November 1925, the Tribunal condemned Chkalov year, however, after four and a half months he was released and returned to part.
But Chkalov has not changed. Did not help any marriage in 1927, nor the birth of his son. Chkalov remained the same air a bully and a malicious violator of discipline, and at the same time, the best pilot units. In 1927 came to him first fame, yet in a fairly narrow circles — Chkalov was sent to the capital on air parade in honor of the decade of the revolution, where he was to demonstrate aerobatics.
Here he showed himself in all his glory — not limit it in the program, and the pilot not only gave all the usual set pieces, but also added some personally invented exclusive rooms. There is a photo where happy Chkalov is next to Semyon Budyonny, Kliment Voroshilov and chief of the air force Yakov Alksnis after the parade. That day he wrote to his wife: “Before I do it on the brig planted, and now the award was given”.
In both cases, there was flagrant violation of the flight task. Again, the Tribunal, again the year of the military prison and final verdict: after the expiration of the term of imprisonment dismissal from the army. So in 25 years the future folk hero was actually nothing.
Three years of glory
According to the memoirs of the wife, this time he really almost gave up flying. Was going to go to College, look for other ways in life. But the sky would not let go. In the end, Chkalov took a job as a instructor in OSOAVIAKHIM, where he led a group of glider pilots — “used to fly, now dollaway,” he said to his friends.
The country was obsessed with aviation. Was thrown cry “Komsomolets on the plane!”, and thousands of young people went to study flight training and skydiving. Aircraft designers and pilots became heroes, and one of the best pilots Union pulled the infamous strap. But about Chkalov not forgotten. “Wise and understanding” elders (especially Alksnis and Voroshilov) found a “thief” that is completely consistent with his character, Chkalov was testing airplanes. At the end of 1930 it was restored in the army, returned to the title and enrolled in the state Institute of red army air force.
Here a desperate courage, natural flying talent and an amazing sense machine Chkalov occurred just in time. For this job Chkalov moved to Moscow, and was initially lodged from a friend, then he was allocated a room in the hotel. Only after that, the family followed him were able to move to the capital.
An important milestone in the life of Chkalov was a meeting with aircraft designer Nikolai Polikarpov.
Shortly before that Polikarpov without trial was sentenced to death for “participation in a counterrevolutionary sabotage organization”, but because the country needed the aircraft, the sentence is not executed, and sent Nicholas to work in one of the first “friend”, the TSKB-39. However, there he was again sentenced (this time the College of the OGPU): 10 years imprisonment for “spying and undermining the industry”; however, in June 1931, after two and a half months, the punishment was changed to conditional. The Creator of the country’s best fighter and an outstanding pilot just found each other.
Chkalov participated in the creation and debugging of machinery Polikarpov I-5, I-11, I-15 and I-16, showed them to leaders of the country.
In may 1935, after the submission of the monoplane I-16 Polikarpov (already amnestied; the sentence was lifted only in 1956, 12 years after the death of the designer) and Chkalov was awarded the order of Lenin, and pilot Sergo Ordzhonikidze and even the car gave.
Then was held the first meeting of the pilot with Stalin. However, this was only a foretaste of this glory. While Chkalov was “one of”, in the same ranks with him were other pilots of the “red five” — the first aerobatic team in the USSR, not to mention famous all over the country the heroes of the expedition.
In the same year, in the fall of comrade Chkalov tester at Department of the air force Institute of Georgy Baidukov invited him to take part in a record non-stop flight to America on the plane ANT-25. In August, Georgy Filippovich has already participated in trying the same flight crew Sigismund Levanevsky, but then the widely publicized record (even the brand managed to release!) did not take place from-for breakages of the plane. Levanevsky was transferred to another project, and the pilot Baidukov and Navigator Belyakov looking for their first pilot. Chkalov for a long time refused, because it is absolutely not in keeping with his love of aviation stunts and aerobatics, but Baidukov persuaded him.
The country’s leadership has been cautious and to start a new crew suggested to make a flight Moscow-Kamchatka.
Already on the ground on Board the vehicle were written the words “Stalin’s route”, which went down in history and have hit the headlines. Of course, along with the heroes-pilots. So in the summer of 1936, Chkalov and his comrades became famous. On the Shchelkovo airfield, where he returned to the heroic crew, they were met by Joseph Stalin himself. After that it was a Ticker-tape parade in convertibles on the crowded streets of Moscow. Machine showered by flowers, Chkalov and his comrades became national heroes.
1936. Stalin personally met the pilots heroes, made a nonstop flight Moscow – far East, Udd island in the sea of Okhotsk. The total length of the record route was 9 375 kilometers. On A Photo Of Stalin, Voroshilov, Chkalov. pic.twitter.com/ExGTjjVoz3
MEMORY IN FRAMES (@pamyat_v_kadrah) July 15, 2018
“Stalin’s Falcon” at once began to fix the biography. Just a few days after returning to “Truth”, the first article of the Chkalov, where his former art brought a completely different view, saying that he wanted to prepare for real air combat, but this is impossible without bold experiments, and going beyond the limitations of outdated instructions.
Chkalov became a fighter with routine and formalism, his tricks was submitted as an innovation, a manifestation of patriotism and true national hero, and those who condemned the air hooliganism, began to look with suspicion — it’s not the pests they?
The following 1937, the crew of the same team received permission to fly to America via the North pole. It was a huge risk, because any single failure of the machine inevitably would have ended with the death of the pilots. Fortunately, everything went normally. 8504 km to Vancouver was overcome for 63 hours, the aircraft was off course, he managed to avoid icing and other calamities. The pilots were the heroes of world scale, symbols of courage and ambassadors of the new socialist system.
On return, a wave of fame completely covered Chkalov. Although the captain was not the initiator of record flights, he stood out from the trio. Chkalov endeared himself to inner strength, charisma, a big smile. And yet he was able to find the right words, did not hesitate to thank the leaders and Stalin himself, were great in public. He successfully fit into the role of a folk hero. Biography, carefully edited in national Newspapers, turned it into the epic hero with all of his exploits and some of the kinks. Heroes, too, sometimes “naughty”, but he is forgiven. Many of his past “exploits” have become legendary, knew all about them. And it doesn’t matter if this ever happened for real or not.
Native village of Vasilevo was renamed Chkalovsk, Valery was elected to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, received the rank of brigade commander, although no aviation brigade, he commanded, and continued to experience Polikarpov’s fighters. The government even gave the pilot a private plane! Once at a reception in the Kremlin, Stalin proposed a toast to the health of Chkalov. Already pretty emboldened pilot stood up and said that drinking isn’t, and you need to drink to the health of the great leader. After that, he poured two full glasses and offered Stalin to drink brotherhood. The startled father of the peoples did not know what to answer, and landed in the arms of Chkalov. Say, then the pilot even dared to turn to Stalin.
Triumph Chkalov did not last long, little more than a year. In December 1938 he crashed testing a new car And-180. On the death of the pilot has been written and said a lot, there were different versions — from an accident to intentional murder by order of the higher leadership of the country.
Worked three authoritative commissions, several people spent years behind bars, then they were acquitted and rehabilitated. The question still remains open.
It is obvious that the plane was raw, but the prototype only took to flight tests. The war in Spain showed that our I-16 is inferior to the newest German “Messerschmitt” Bf-109E — our speed was up to 450 km/h and the Germans were dispersed to almost 600. Urgently needed a new high-speed machine, and I-180 were potentially in this plane. It is known that Chkalov himself was eager to experience the new Polikarpov fighter, obviously, he ignored flight mission: he was commissioned to make one circle over the airfield without removing the chassis, and sit down. If he did, everything would be fine, but Kuznetsov went to the second round, on a broader path.
The motor is on a 25-degree frost stalled and the altitude was too low to be able to maneuver or jump. The plane hit the ground, the pilot was thrown from the cab. It was time to take to the Botkin hospital, but he died.
As a test pilot and pioneer Chkalov has done a lot for our aircraft. Largely thanks to him that during the war we will have Pokryshkin and Kozhedub learned to fly in extreme conditions, sometimes against the laws of physics and common sense. Chkalov wanted to go to fight in Spain, but he was not allowed. However, the workplace is in some sense too, it was the front line, and he gave his life for the sake of creating an air shield of the Motherland.
And in March 1941, before the war, was a film kalatozova “Valery Chkalov”. It was founded not so much on real facts, how much has legitimized the myth of the great pilot.
By the way, the movie was first famous the episode with flying under the Trinity bridge in front of the bride and the commander of the detachment, which during the life of the pilot-no one did.
Thus was born another legend about Chkalov. However, not quite a legend — February 26, 1930, the pilot is really flying under the railway bridge near the station Vyalka 225 km from Leningrad. He did this forced, emergency landing due to weather conditions, the plane was broken.
But, as it is easy to understand, in official mythology, this case is not really fit — although he was described in the published still in Soviet times, the memoirs of the wife of the pilot, Olga Chkalova. But, anyway, flying under a bridge (real or perceived) remains today one of the key elements Chkalovsky myth.