Mikhail Mil

Last updated

Mikhail Mil
Rus Stamp-Mil-1.jpg
Mil on a 1990 Russian commemorative postage stamp
Mikhail Leontyevich Mil

22 November 1909
Irkutsk, Irkutsk Governorate, Russian Empire
Died31 January 1970(1970-01-31) (aged 60)
Moscow, Soviet Union
NationalitySoviet Union (Russian)
Spouse(s)P.G. Rudenko (m. 1932)
Childrendaughters (4); son (1)
Engineering career
Discipline Aeronautical Engineering
Employer(s) Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant
Sign of M. L. Mil.png

Mikhail Leontyevich Mil (Russian : Михаи́л Лео́нтьевич Миль; 22 November 1909 – 31 January 1970) was a Russian aerospace engineer and scientist. He was the founder and general designer of the Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant. [1]



Born to a Jewish family in Irkutsk. His father was an employee of the Trans-Siberian Railway, and his mother was a dentist. His grandfather was a cantonist who had been drafted from Libava (today Liepāja), Latvia, and who settled in Siberia after 25 years in the Imperial Russian Navy.

At age 12 Mil won the first prize in a model glider competition. In 1926 he entered the Siberian Technological Institute in Tomsk; however, since there was no curriculum for aeronautical engineering, he decided to transfer in 1928 to the Don Polytechnical Institute in Novocherkassk, where he was able to specialise in aviation. He married a fellow student, P.G. Rudenko, in 1932 and 4 daughters and a son followed.

After graduating from the institute in 1931, Mil began his career at TsAGI, too late to work under its original founder, Nikolay Yegorovich Zhukovsky. He specialised in the design of autogyros, and was an assistant to his future rival, Nikolay Kamov. With the start of World War II, Mil was drafted into the Red Army and fought on the Eastern Front in 1941 near Yelnya. In 1943 he was called back to continue research and development in improving the stability and control of combat aircraft. He completed his dissertations ("Candidate", 1943, PhD, 1945) and in 1947 headed the Helicopter Lab at TsAGI, which was later turned into the Moscow Helicopter Plant.

Mil's creations won many domestic and international awards and set 69 world records. Most notably, the Mil Mi-4 won a gold medal in the Brussels International Exhibition in 1958. In 1971, after his death, his Mil Mi-12 won the Sikorsky Prize as the most powerful helicopter in the world. Unlike his Soviet counterpart, Nikolai Kamov, Mil enjoyed great prestige due to his single-rotor helicopters, as Kamov used the co-axial rotor layout, which was more controversial.

He died in 1970 in Moscow and was buried in Yudinskoe Cemetery in the outskirts of Moscow.

Awards and honors

Related Research Articles

Kamov helicopter manufacturer

JSC Kamov is a Russian rotorcraft manufacturing company based in Lyubertsy, Russia.

Pavel Sukhoi Soviet aerospace engineer (1895-1975)

Pavel Osipovich Sukhoi was a Soviet aerospace engineer and aircraft designer known as the founder of the Sukhoi Design Bureau. Sukhoi designed military aircraft with Tupolev and Sukhoi for 50 years, and produced many notable Soviet planes such as the Sukhoi Su-7, Su-17, and Su-24. His planes set two altitude world records and two world speed records. Sukhoi was honored in the Soviet Union as a Hero of Socialist Labor and awarded the Order of Lenin three times.

Alexander Prokhorov Soviet and Russian physicist

Alexander Mikhailovich Prokhorov was a Soviet-Russian physicist known for his pioneering research on lasers and masers in the Soviet Union for which he shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1964 with Charles Hard Townes and Nikolay Basov.

Andrei Tupolev Russian and Soviet aerospace engineer

Andrei Nikolayevich Tupolev was a Soviet aeronautical engineer known for his pioneering aircraft designs as Director of the Tupolev Design Bureau.

Sergey Ilyushin Soviet aircraft engineer and designer (1894-1977)

Sergey Vladimirovich Ilyushin was a Soviet aircraft designer who founded the Ilyushin aircraft design bureau. He designed the Il-2 Shturmovik, which made its maiden flight in 1939. It is the most produced warplane, and remains the second most-produced aircraft in history, with some 36,000+ built, behind the US Cessna 172.

Semyon Lavochkin Soviet aerospace engineer (1900-1960)

Semyon Alekseyevich Lavochkin, was a Soviet aerospace engineer, Soviet aircraft designer who founded the Lavochkin aircraft design bureau. Many of his fighter designs were produced in large numbers for Soviet forces during World War II.

Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant helicopter manufacturer in Russia and the USSR

Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant is a Soviet, and later a Russian designer and producer of helicopters headquartered in Tomilino. It is a subsidiary of Russian Helicopters.

Nikolai Kamov (engineer) Soviet aeronautical engineer, helicopter designer

Nikolay Ilyich Kamov was a Soviet aerospace engineer, a pioneer in the design of helicopters, and founder of the Kamov helicopter design bureau.

Moscow Aviation Institute engineering higher education establishment in Moscow

Moscow Aviation Institute founded in 1930 is one of several major engineering higher education establishments in Moscow. Since its inception MAI has been spearheading advances in aerospace technology both within Russia and worldwide. The university laid emphasis on laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering, specific to demands of the aerospace industry. During World War II part of the university was evacuated to Almaty Kazakhstan, the university, staff and students continued to work on research and wartime production throughout the war. During the Post-War period, the university expanded and assimilated new technologies during the Jet age. Research conducted in the university contributed to heralding the space age.

Order of the Red Banner of Labour Award of the Soviet Union

The Order of the Red Banner of Labour was an order of the Soviet Union established to honour great deeds and services to the Soviet state and society in the fields of production, science, culture, literature, the arts, education, health, social and other spheres of labour activities. It is the labour counterpart of the military Order of the Red Banner. A few institutions and factories, being the pride of Soviet Union, also received the order.

Mstislav Keldysh Soviet mathematician and physicist (1911-1978)

Mstislav Vsevolodovich Keldysh was a Soviet scientist in the field of mathematics and mechanics, academician of the USSR Academy of Sciences (1946), President of the USSR Academy of Sciences (1961–1975), three times Hero of Socialist Labor, fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (1968). He was one of the key figures behind Soviet space program. Among scientific circles of USSR Keldysh was known with epithet "the Chief Theoretician" in analogy with epithet "the Chief Designer" used for Sergey Korolyov.

Tomsk Polytechnic University university

Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) in Tomsk, Russia, is the oldest technical university in Russia east of the Urals. The university was founded in 1896 and opened in 1900 as the Tomsk Technological Institute. In 1925, the school was renamed the Siberian Technological Institute and in 1930, the institute was split into five divisions, three of which remained in Tomsk. In 1934, the three institutes in Tomsk reunited to form a new institute that would be named the Tomsk Polytechnic Institute. The university has more than 22,000 current students and has graduated more than 100,000 technical specialists. The rector is Andrey A. Yakovlev.

Nikolai Alekseevich Pilyugin was Soviet chief designer of rocket guidance systems.

Matus Ruvimovich Bisnovat, Soviet aircraft and missile designer.

Mil Mi-X1 is a high-speed helicopter being proposed by Mil of Russia. The aircraft belongs to the same program as its competitor Kamov Ka-92 intended to create a new generation of middle-class helicopters cruising at about 500 km/h (312 mph). Its preliminary design and early specifications were unveiled at HeliRussia 2009 exhibition near Moscow. The design is competing for a US$1.3 billion project by the Russian government and Kamov is the other competitor.

Aleksandr Nadiradze Soviet engineer

Aleksandr Davidovich Nadiradze was a Soviet inventor, designer and engineer in the fields of aircraft and missile/rocket technology. He developed various missiles, bombs, shells and is considered "father" of the mobile ICBMs, having created the RT-21 Temp 2S (SS-16), RSD-10 Pioneer (SS-20) and the RT-2PM Topol (SS-25). More modern weapons such as the RT-2PM2 Topol-M and RS-24 are mostly based on Nadiradze's work as well.

Nikolay Nikolayevich Baransky was a Soviet economic geographer, founder of Soviet Rayon (Regional) school of economic geography, and corresponding member of Soviet Academy of Sciences (1939); he was a Hero of Socialist Labour (1962) and winner of the Stalin prize (1952).

Max Taitz (1904-1980) was a scientist, an engineer, and one of the founders of Gromov Flight Research Institute (1941). He was a doctor of engineering, a professor, and a recipient of the Stalin Prize, and the honorary title of Honoured Scientist of the RSFSR (1961).

Viktor Belyaev

Viktor Nikolayevich Belyaev was a soviet aircraft designer, former head of the OKB-4 and the founder of the science of the strength of aircraft structures in the USSR.