|Died||1 March 2010 82) (aged|
|Awards||Hero of the Soviet Union|
|First flight||Su-11, Т-5, Su-15, Su-17, Su-24, Т-4, Su-25, Su-27|
Major General Vladimir Sergeyevich Ilyushin (Russian : Владимир Серге́евич Ильюшин; 31 March 1927 – 1 March 2010) was a Soviet general and test pilot, and the son of aerospace engineer Sergei Ilyushin. He spent most of his career as a test pilot for the Sukhoi OKB (a rival of Ilyushin OKB.) Ilyushin was also a rugby union administrator who was inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame (then known as the IRB Hall of Fame) in 2013.
In 1961, Ilyushin was the subject of a conspiracy theory that he, rather than Yuri Gagarin, was the first cosmonaut in space. There is no evidence and no support to the theory.
Ilyushin was a test pilot and lieutenant general in the Soviet Air Force. He piloted the maiden flights of the Sukhoi's Su-11 (1958), Т-5 (1958), Su-15 (1962), Su-17 (1966), Su-24 (1967), Т-4 (1972), Su-25 (1975) and the Su-27 (1977).Ilyushin demonstrated his outstanding piloting skills as a test pilot of the Sukhoi Su-24. He flew a course so precisely that he caused a software crash in the aircraft instrumentation. That is, the software initially used in the nav/attack system of the Su-24 lacked a null function, and failed to proceed after it hit the so called "machine zero", i.e. Ilyushin's actual geographical position became identical to the mission target input into the software. There had been no expectation that this objective would be achieved and there was no provision for it, in the software used during his test flight.
Ilyushin was first exposed to rugby while studying at the Moscow Aviation Institute in the 1940s; according to World Rugby (formerly the International Rugby Board, or IRB), "His love of the sport was immediate and stayed with him for the rest of his life." He went on to a career as a rugby administrator that made him, according to then-IRB president Bernard Lapasset, "a true pioneer of Rugby in Russia". On 31 March 1967 (his 40th birthday), he founded the Soviet Rugby Federation, and was named its first president. By 1975, he had fully integrated the Soviet Union into the European international structure, and the following year played a significant role in the creation of a Soviet club championship. Ilyushin's career as an administrator continued into the post-communist era. He died two days after Russia secured its place in the 2011 Rugby World Cup, the country's first appearance ever in that competition. In February 2013, Ilyushin was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame, now known as the World Rugby Hall of Fame, during the pool allocation draw for the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow.
Two days before Gagarin's launch on 12 April 1961, Dennis Ogden wrote in the Western Communist newspaper the Daily Worker that the Soviet Union's announcement that Ilyushin had been involved in a serious car crash was really a cover story for an 7 April 1961 orbital spaceflight gone wrong.A similar story was told by French broadcaster Eduard Bobrovsky, but his version had the launch occurring in March, resulting in Ilyushin slipping into a coma. NORAD tracking stations, however, had no record of any such launch. Later that year, U.S. News & World Report transmitted the rumor by claiming that Gagarin had never flown, and was merely a stand-in for the sickened Ilyushin. The 1999 film The Cosmonaut Cover-Up takes the position that Ilyushin was the first man in space and discusses the alleged cover-up in detail. They claim, "According to recently declassified documents, Ilyushin was placed in a capsule named Rossiya, and the secret flight took place in the early hours of the morning, on Friday April 7th 1961". After a guidance malfunction, the cosmonaut is reported to have made an unguided crash landing in China, too critically injured to announce the mission a complete success. The 2009 film Fallen Idol: The Yuri Gagarin Conspiracy also takes the same position and further discusses US efforts to continue the allegation, even citing national security not to release information under the Freedom of Information Act. The data sought was from the CIA tracking station at Tern Island that supposedly covered and recorded Iluyshin's failed mission.
According to Mark Wade, editor of the space history web site Encyclopedia Astronautica , "The entire early history of the Soviet manned space program has been declassified and we have piles of memoirs of cosmonauts, engineers, etc., who participated. We know who was in the original cosmonaut team, who never flew, was dismissed, or was killed in ground tests. Ilyushin is not one of them."
Vostok 1 was the first spaceflight of the Vostok programme and the first human spaceflight in history. The Vostok 3KA space capsule was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome on April 12, 1961, with Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin aboard, making him the first human to cross into outer space.
Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin was a Soviet pilot and cosmonaut who became the first human to journey into outer space, achieving a major milestone in the Space Race; his capsule, Vostok 1, completed one orbit of Earth on 12 April 1961. Gagarin became an international celebrity and was awarded many medals and titles, including Hero of the Soviet Union, his nation's highest honour.
Vladimir Mikhaylovich Komarov was a Soviet test pilot, aerospace engineer, and cosmonaut. In October 1964, he commanded Voskhod 1, the first spaceflight to carry more than one crew member. He became the first Soviet cosmonaut to fly in space twice when he was selected as the solo pilot of Soyuz 1, its first crewed test flight. A parachute failure caused his Soyuz capsule to crash into the ground after re-entry on 24 April 1967, making him the first human to die in a space flight.
Gherman Stepanovich Titov was a Soviet cosmonaut who, on 6 August 1961, became the second human to orbit the Earth, aboard Vostok 2, preceded by Yuri Gagarin on Vostok 1. He was the fourth person in space, counting suborbital voyages of US astronauts Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom. A month short of 26 years old at launch, he remains the youngest person to fly in space.
Pavel Romanovich Popovich was a Soviet cosmonaut.
Georgy Timofeyevich Beregovoy was a Soviet cosmonaut who commanded the space mission Soyuz 3 in 1968. At the time of his flight, Beregovoy was 47 years of age: he was the earliest-born human to go to orbit, being born three months and three days earlier than the second earliest-born man in orbit – John Glenn, but later than X-15 pilot Joe Walker who made 2 suborbital space flights.
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.
The Sukhoi Su-24 is a supersonic, all-weather attack aircraft developed in the Soviet Union. The aircraft has a variable-sweep wing, twin-engines and a side-by-side seating arrangement for its crew of two. It was the first of the USSR's aircraft to carry an integrated digital navigation/attack system. It remains in service with the Russian Air Force, Syrian Air Force, Ukrainian Air Force, Azerbaijan Air Force and various air forces to which it was exported.
The Vostok programme was a Soviet human spaceflight project to put the first Soviet citizens into low Earth orbit and return them safely. Competing with the United States Project Mercury, it succeeded in placing the first human into space, Yuri Gagarin, in a single orbit in Vostok 1 on April 12, 1961. The Vostok capsule was developed from the Zenit spy satellite project, and its launch vehicle was adapted from the existing R-7 Semyorka intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) design. The name "Vostok" was treated as classified information until Gagarin's flight was first publicly disclosed to the world press.
Viktor Mikhailovich Afanasyev is a colonel in the Russian Air Force and a test cosmonaut of the Yu. A. Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center. He was born 31 December 1948, in Bryansk, Russia, and is married to Yelena Ya. Afanasyeva, born in 1952. They have two children. His father, Mikhail Z. Afanasyev, is deceased. His mother, Marya S. Afanasyeva, resides in Merkulyevo, Bryansk region, Russia. His recreational interests include football, swimming, and tourism. He considers his favorite meal to be borscht.
Igor Petrovich Volk was a Soviet test pilot and cosmonaut in the Buran programme.
Korabl-Sputnik 5 or Vostok-3KA No.2, also known as Sputnik 10 in the West, was a Soviet spacecraft which was launched in 1961, as part of the Vostok programme. It was the last test flight of the Vostok spacecraft design prior the first crewed flight, Vostok 1. It carried the mannequin Ivan Ivanovich, a dog named Zvezdochka, television cameras and scientific apparatus.
Grigory Grigoryevich Nelyubov was one of the original 20 Soviet cosmonauts, who was dismissed from the Soviet space program in 1963 for drunk and disorderly conduct. His existence in the program was kept secret until the advent of Soviet glasnost in the late 1980s. He committed suicide on 18 February 1966.
Nikolai Petrovich Kamanin was a Soviet aviator, awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union in 1934 for the rescue of SS Chelyuskin crew from an improvised airfield on the frozen surface of the Chukchi Sea near Kolyuchin Island.
The Lost Cosmonauts or Phantom Cosmonauts are subjects of a conspiracy theory alleging that some Soviet cosmonauts went to outer space, but their existence has never been publicly acknowledged by either the Soviet or Russian space authorities. Proponents of the Lost Cosmonauts theory argue that the Soviet Union attempted to launch human spaceflights before Yuri Gagarin's first spaceflight, and the cosmonauts onboard died in those attempts. Another cosmonaut, Vladimir Ilyushin, has been the subject of allegations to have landed off course and been held by the Chinese government. The Government of the Soviet Union supposedly suppressed this information, to prevent bad publicity during the height of the Cold War.
Rimantas Antanas Stankiavichus was a Lithuanian test pilot and cosmonaut in the Soviet space shuttle Buran programme. He was killed in a crash of his Su-27 fighter plane during an airshow in Salgareda.
The Ilyushin Il-1 was a Soviet fighter aircraft developed during World War II by the Ilyushin design bureau. It was designed in 1943 as an armored fighter for use at low and medium altitudes against the latest German fighters, but by the time it made its first flight in 1944, the Soviets had already achieved air superiority and it was therefore redundant. Only one example was built, but the parallel two-seat attack version led to the successful Ilyushin Il-10.
Jean-Loup Jacques Marie Chrétien is a French retired Général de Brigade in the Armée de l'Air, and a former CNES spationaut. He flew on two Franco-Soviet space missions and a NASA Space Shuttle mission. Chrétien was the first Frenchman and the first western European in space.
Sergey Nikolaevich Anokhin was a Soviet test pilot.
On March 27, 1968, Yuri Gagarin, the first man to go into space, died together with pilot Vladimir Seryogin during a routine training flight, after the MiG-15 jet fighter they were flying crashed near Novosyolovo in the Soviet Union.
This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents ofthe National Aeronautics and Space Administration .