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Their most women long flights and secret aircraft "Homeland"

Their most women long flights and secret aircraft "Homeland"


On September 24, 1938, the plane "Rodina" (ANT-37) was launched from the Shchelkovo airfield of the Air Force Research Institute. The purpose of the flight was to set a record for a non-stop flight on a twin-engine aircraft by a female crew.

The record was set, but the effort and sacrifice is worth it, it became known only many years later.

20-30 years - the period of the dawn of world aviation. This years competition between countries and designers. Someone above who are more who are longer. ... It was a matter of prestige for the country, it was a struggle systems struggle on the political level. Not a month, not to install any another world record. Everyone has heard the names of the pilots were heroes, both in the Soviet Union and other leading aviation powers.

In Soviet Russia, aviation and everything connected with it was under special control of the government. It is well known that Stalin paid close attention to aviation. All news, new aircraft, new records, all done with the knowledge of the master of the Kremlin, and with his permission.

the birthplace of the plane

End 30-ies in the Soviet Union was in its own way unique. Amid all encompassing cleansing and terrible repression, established new world records in all areas of the economy. Country coverage nationwide "rekordomaniya".

Be the best, be the first at any cost was the credo of many generations of Soviet people. Often, records and achievements attained unimaginable (modern name) victims, including human.

This is what happened to the famous flight crew pilot Valentina Grizodubova. Details of the trip and the circumstances of pilots searching the Soviet press shamefully suppressed.


Valentine Grizodubova crew commander

At the time of the flight she was 27 years.

The total number of flight hours, approximately 6000. Thanks to his father - a famous Soviet aviator and aircraft designer, has joined the flight from an early age.

Valentine Grizodubova crew commander

In 14 years participant glider competitions. In 1928 she entered the Kharkiv flying club, which finished later 3 months. In 1929 year, she graduated from the Penza school instructor pilots. In 1936 he was enrolled in the Air Force. I set several world records for speed and altitude.

In 1937 year was the most experienced and trained women pilots in Soviet Russia, the first candidate for the establishment of a high-profile world aviation records.


Polina Osipenko copilot

At the time of the flight she was 30 years.

The aircraft hit accidentally. A simple peasant girl, in 19 years married a military pilot. It opens in the summer dining room and breakfast was selling starting at the airport Kachin flying school. Along the way (!) I have learned to manage the educational-2.

Polina Osipenko copilot

In one of his visits to the People's Commissar Voroshilov famous "Kachi" has achieved a meeting with him and begged him to give permission to enroll in flight school. Welcome was obtained.

According to another version she wrote a letter to the People's Commissar. Whatever it was, she finished school Kachin military pilots in 1932 year.

At the time of flight "homeland" Polina Osipenko had to his credit several world records and female participation in long-distance flights. Experienced and competent pilot.


Marina Raskova flight navigator

At the time of the flight - 27let.

Marina was a late child of an opera singer and teacher. She predicted a good singing career in opera. She was admitted to the Moscow Conservatory. After his father's death, the family was left without a livelihood. Marina had to leave the conservatory and go to work. As a result, she was on the positions draftswomen in aeronautical department of the Air Force Academy named after Zhukovsky.

Then, with the support of well-known Aeronavigator Belyakov and V. Spirin he passed the examinations for the title of the navigator GVF (Civil Aviation) and, after studying at the Central aero club, the pilot received a diploma.

Marina Raskova flight navigator

To complete biography Raskovoy necessary to add that she was an employee of the NKVD, probably this can be explained by its function in a purely military crew Grizodubova - Asipenka. Her rise through the ranks in the CAF, in part (perhaps), it was also due to the work of the organs.

That was part of the women's crew to set a record for non-stop long-distance flights, later became known all over the country of the Soviets and the whole world.

And then, followed by a whole chain of absurdities, coincidences and crew of negligence involved in the hop of people almost led to tragedy in the death of the entire crew, but it led to the death of other people, one way or another connected with the record flight.


Flight of the "homeland", or a chain of tragedies


In 30-years in the Land of the Soviets actively going development of the vast territory of Siberia and the Far East. In the new advertising service uninhabited places connected all possible means, including film, press. Young people are actively campaigning to move to new places, to the shock of construction five-year plans, the development of new deaf uninhabited places.

Aviation in promoting party policy has played an important role. The pilots, explorers enjoyed great respect and popularity of all the people, and their honored at home and abroad. Records are international, these were achievements of technical thought of the whole planet, the whole of humanity. Particular attention is paid to all records, the Soviet government and the Party. Records had to show the superiority of the socialist system to a backward capitalist society.

The preparation of records and the selection of candidates for the title of the next national and international hero approached very carefully. And it becomes doubly clear: how can this happen with the crew of renowned and experienced pilots. What motivated her in making a particular decision, which often led to fatal mistakes. Now it is difficult to judge. We can only just follow the stages of flight and a series of tragic failures.


Sloppiness in the Red Army Air Force


For the sake of completeness, it should be considered that according to the documents preserved in the archives of the discipline in the Red Army Air Force was completely not up to par at the time. Prospered sloppiness, arbitrariness, drunkenness, misconduct, non-performance of orders and so on. The famous pilot Chkalov flight case under the bridge - just flowers, compared with the general state of affairs in the military aviation.

To give just one example from the memoirs of Valentina Grizodubova. Women's crew offered to duplicate the record flight of the famous pilot Vladimir Kokkinaki Moscow - Far East on the ANT-37. It another famous pilot test went to Sverdlovsk and back. After landing at the Moscow airport ANT-37, called "fighting friend" and allowed them to train.

"In August, we 1938 Polina Osipenko directly in sneakers and dresses run airfield and took off" (!).

Note: this is a military airfield Research Institute of the Air Force, not the site near the country house and a new car yet to be tested at this time!


Fly away at any price?


The flight was prepared in haste, under the end of the good flying weather. Weather forecast route was not. Worried mainly about the engine and the quantity of fuel. He was on the flight hours 38-5525 kg of gasoline, almost half of all take-off weight of the aircraft.

In all the flight preparations and felt a rush of nervousness. It was clear - if the flight for some reason to delay, it will have to do to carry on next year. Nobody wanted. Especially the crew.

Title "Homeland" in huge letters adorned the lower wing surface. For whom was this done? To advertise? Nonsense, especially when you consider that most of the trip took place at high altitude and in overcast conditions. But the top, on the wings of such inscriptions have not done that later played a fatal role in the search for the plane crashed.

Device indicating the fuel on board did not have (and this considering that the plane was supposed to set a record distance flight!).

The aircraft was 17 fuel tanks, which had to be switched "by eye", on time. It is not quite clear for the record of the aircraft.

the birthplace of the plane

Communication with the earth, radio navigation via a broadcast radio station, which worked practically throughout the territory of our vast Motherland. And here, too, are annoying omissions, to say the least. Even before the flight, Raskova reported to the crew commander about problems with the radio. Grizodubova dismissed it: it can be repaired in flight, and why the radio, if they fly according to the compass and maps.

One More Marina did not tell the commander: two weeks before the trip, he was arrested and disappeared technical engineer in charge of the radio. Raskova not reported time and data frequency shift and call signs.

Compass and map. After a few hours of flight connection was lost completely. The flight took place in overcast. The maps were useless. Bindings to the area navigator Raskova could do.

Trying to avoid or break through cloudy, the aircraft climbed to 7500 meters. It began icing. Trying to clean off the frost from the cabin windows, Raskova opened the side window, ... and from the cabin blew out all the cards.

So the plane was left without maps, without radio communication, and did not even have the opportunity to determine the terrain: until the landing itself it was overcast. The pilots kept the course by instinct, only trying not to violate the state border.

The result of this strange flight completely blind was a forced landing on the swamps near the Chukchagir Lake, near the Amgun River. The places are so deaf, untouched, that there was no question of getting out on our own. And even before landing "on the belly" in the swamps, the plane had to leave the navigator Raskova. With such a landing, she had little chance of survival.

Marina Raskova wandering in the forest 10 days. She had 18 ammunition for the gun, two chocolate bars ... and only one CNT, the second fell off during the opening of the parachute.


And then it began a tragic show.


The plane was found and dropped pennant with an encouraging note and a code of visual signals, which had spread from the parachute cloth.


Chronicle of events.


Commander of the Air Force 2-th Red Banner Army of the Far Eastern Front Sorokin James flew to the scene on a heavy bomber TB-3 with a group of parachutists and rescuers.

At the same time the DC-3 commander Konev, without permission flies the flag of the Army Air Force navigator Alexander Bryandinsky.

Find the crash site "homeland" neither one nor the second aircraft could not. Spinning in the search space, two planes collided accident (!).

15 people were killed in front of the pilots. Holocaust watching and wandering in the forest navigator. It is clear that the pilots of optimism is not gave. They laid out a signal from the panels "TB-3 SOS». Another TB-3 dropped by parachute two sports commissioners to remove the instruments for recording the record range. Above the fall of aircraft with TB dropped doctor and three rescuers. Twelve hours from the place of the party of the accident reached and "Motherland".

Place of landing a record of the aircraft found samovolschik from Komsomolsk aircraft factory. Plane-2 have got into the swamp next to the "homeland." Pilots flew brought flowers and champagne. It is necessary things for women prosidevih several days on an airplane wing in the forest in the swamp. Rise In-2, clear, it was not possible.

As a result of the evacuation had already 4 people, plus the survivors of the collision killed plus the body.

Taken only body Bryandinskogo and Sorokin, other victims had betrayed the ground 30 years later

Planting was carried out in the swamp 25 September 10: 45 in Moscow. Evacuated pilots 12 October they were taken first in Komsomolsk, then Khabarovsk. From there, the train (!) Through all the country, they went to Moscow, along the way stopping at all stations and halts to participate in rallies glorifying Soviet country, the Party and personally Leader of all peoples and pilots.

Further events are familiar to everyone from the personnel of the chronicles and newspaper articles. 

Honors. Awards. Meetings and banquets.

The record for the trip distance, straight, female crew recorded the commissioners FAI. Route length 6450 km, was passed over 26 29 hours minutes.

The crew received the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. Other participants of the training, search and rescue were awarded medals and diplomas.

And for the mess in the Red Army Air Force crew did not bear responsibility.