It's sad when People leave with a capital letter. It's sad when times change. But when whole epochs go away, it is unbearable.
It was not for nothing that I wrote the word "Constructor" with a capital letter. This is a kind of tribute to Novozhilov. And the recognition that the Constructor is not only a title, but also a vocation.
But now let's go a sad path from the very beginning …
The birth of a constructor
October 27, 1925, Moscow. A son, Henry, was born to servicemen Vasily Vasilyevich Sokolov and Iraida Ivanovna Novozhilova.
The very center of Moscow, Mashkov Lane, not far from Chistye Prudy. Who could the boy see himself in his dreams, in front of whom the triumphs of Chkalov, Gromov, Kokkinaki, the epic with the Chelyuskinites took place?
Of course, a pilot. As well as the main majority. "Prepared" from the heart. We ran, jumped … Well, it so happened that Heinrich himself broke the road to heaven. More precisely, I broke my leg very badly, so I had to undergo several operations. So the dream, alas, remained a dream.
And then there was the war.
Evacuated to Penza. There, Heinrich completed the obligatory nine years, with a leg that had just begun to function normally, was not taken to the front. And in 1942 he returned to Moscow.
It's good that I didn't go to VGIK. Two of his friends went there, and Novozhilov himself took part in the First All-Union Children's Photo Exhibition in 1939. So he knew how to shoot, and could well become a cameraman. But - carried over. US. And Genrikh Novozhilov first turned out to be an employee (laboratory assistant) of the Moscow Aviation Institute, and a year later he became a student. Aircraft Faculty, of course.
There, above, not letting Novozhilov fly, they did everything so that others would do it for him. And I'm sure they never regretted it.
Former graduates came to the traditional "gatherings" before the end of the graduation course. So in one day Novozhilov saw two legends at once - Yakovlev and Ilyushin.
Ilyushin conquered the students with his simplicity, as well as his ability to sing and dance very well.
The student Novozhilov was happy when he went to the pre-graduation practice at OKB-240, which was headed by S. V. Ilyushin.
The design bureau was located on Krasnoarmeyskaya street, not far from the Dynamo stadium. In the OKB there was an unshakable rule - students were immediately enrolled in the staff. Thus, Genrikh Novozhilov, without even defending his diploma, from July 1, 1948, became a design engineer with a salary of 900 rubles.
And the practice turned out to be the most that neither is work in the fuselage department, which was headed by Valery Afrikanovich Borog.
By the way, there are no records indicating a change of place of work in Novozhilov's work book. 68 years in OKB-204. The bureau changed names, but the essence remained the same. 68 years in the same design office.
What greeted the young engineer at first at work? Having defended his diploma, in 1949 Novozhilov became a full-fledged specialist and plunged into a frantic rhythm of work.
But the whole country lived in such a rhythm. They rebuilt cities and factories destroyed by the war, prepared the first atomic bomb, and began production of ballistic missiles and jet aircraft.
Fight for the sky
On May 14, 1949, the Il-28 was adopted by the Resolution of the Council of Ministers No. 1890-700. Serial production was launched in Moscow, Voronezh and Omsk, and a little later the factories in Irkutsk and Kuibyshev were connected.
Incidentally, the Il-28 was developed without any technical specifications, on an initiative basis.
In those days, it was very difficult to compete with the Tupolev Design Bureau, which, in principle, was considered the main one for bombers. And Tupolev built (unlike Ilyushin) a Tu-14 airplane on state order, which turned out to be a disappointment.
They say that Tupolev spoke very impartially about the Il-28 when it made its first successful flight. But such were the times, such were the morals. The Il-28 went into series production, and 6,316 aircraft were built.
And soon the prototype of the future passenger Il-14 took off on its maiden flight. Then a whole series of successful developments followed: the Il-40 two-seater jet attack aircraft, the Il-46 experienced bomber, the Il-54 front-line bomber with a swept wing, which the "twenty-eighths" were going to change …
It turned out that this time Tupolev won in the competition between two design bureaus, and his Tu-16 went into the series. "You must be able to take a punch!" Ilyushin's subordinates often heard this phrase from him.
Novozhilov was appointed the chief designer of the Il-54.
- recalled Genrikh Vasilievich.
One can only express regret once again that the outstanding Il-54 was not needed by anyone during the period of Khrushchev's craze for ballistic missiles.
For the first time the plane took off on April 3, 1955, in the summer it was shown in Kubinka near Moscow to a high-ranking American military, and soon … an order followed: to stop all work!
They say that Khrushchev himself sentenced the bomber. Indeed, the Il-54 became the last bomber of the Ilyushin Design Bureau. Moreover, in the late fifties, the Ilyushin Design Bureau was generally going to close. Fascinated by the cosmic successes of Korolev, Khrushchev began to curtail the aircraft industry just as vigorously.
Over many design bureaus in those years there was a threat of liquidation (as unnecessary). But Ilyushin, as they say, “turned in the air” and directed the work of the OKB to create passenger aircraft. And Novozhilov suddenly found himself in the chair of the plant's party committee secretary.
In general, Genrikh Vasilievich was, to put it mildly, not happy with this appointment. By that time, he had already become an engineer, became a designer of the first category, was engaged in design, construction, and testing. And then - this …
Strange as it may seem, but Ilyushin himself "pushed" Novozhilov into the seat of party leader. “If you choose - agree, this kind of work will allow you to get to know people …” And for two and a half years Novozhilov was engaged in public work. Today, perhaps, this is little understood, but in those years the secretary of the party committee played a large role at the plant. Something like a real political officer, deciding all issues, from the apartment and to the consideration of domestic complaints.
At the end of 1958, Novozhilov handed over party affairs and returned to a more familiar job, as deputy chief designer of the passenger Il-18.
In addition, Ilyushin instructed him to organize the operation of these machines at Aeroflot. So Novozhilov gained experience as an operator.
For himself, Genrikh Vasilyevich considered the IL-18 to be a particularly valuable work. He said more than once in an interview that without that production and operational school there would be no general designer Novozhilov …
Work on the IL-18 took six years, and upon completion Novozhilov received another promotion. He was appointed first deputy general designer for the Il-62 liner project.
G. Novozhilov and S. Ilyushin
The result is known to everyone: the Il-62 was for a very long time (from 1967 to 1995) time "board number 1" in the USSR and Russia, and even now two aircraft are in operation by the Rossiya flight squadron. By the way, the Il-62M is used by the Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
In 1970, a group of employees of the Ilyushin Design Bureau (including Novozhilov) was awarded the Lenin Prize, and a year later, summing up the results of the 8th five-year plan, by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of April 26, 1971, Novozhilov was awarded the title of Hero of Socialist Labor.
However, between these two joyful events, another thing happened.
At the post of general designer
In the summer of 1970, Sergei Vladimirovich Ilyushin made the final decision to retire. The age of 77 and a very stressful life still affected the designer's health. Indeed, even after retirement, Ilyushin lived very little.
On July 28, 1970, the Minister of Aviation Industry Dementyev, who arrived at the Design Bureau, at a meeting of team leaders read out Order No. 378-K on the release of S. V. Ilyushin from his post "in accordance with a personal request and for health reasons" and on the appointment of G. V. Novozhilov General Designer of the Design Bureau of the Moscow Machine-Building Plant "Strela".
Why do we so often refer to the term "great" in relation to the people of that time? Probably because the greatness of a person lies not only in what he did in life, but also in how.
Being a great Designer, Ilyushin approached the issue of continuity in the same way. After all, no one was driving him, just Sergei Vladimirovich felt that everything, his strength was running out. And slowly forged his successor.
Novozhilov recalled this:
"To tell the truth, I never felt that, roughly speaking, he trained me during the six years that I was his first deputy. Maybe I became a general designer because I never aspired to become him …"
It so happened that Genrikh Novozhilov from the age of 12 grew up without a father. Ilyushin made up for this damage in many ways. Both professionally and purely human. But - without unnecessary effects.
"The current perception of Ilyushin does not correspond to his real appearance, they perceive him like an angel with wings, who only blessed us - young people. Nothing of the kind! He was distinguished by simply iron exactingness to his subordinates. Perhaps, only students who came to the OKB were an exception …"
And the student became worthy of his teacher. Even in the little things.
Left: Novozhilov, Ilyushin, sitting in the center - Tupolev
Example. March 25, 1971. Central airfield named after MV Frunze, or "Khodynka". All machines of the Ilyushin Design Bureau usually performed their first flights from here.
On this day, the Il-76, no less an epoch-making machine than the Il-62, went on its first flight. Novozhilov invited Ilyushin. The two of us walked around the plane, once again examined everything, exchanged opinions again. Ilyushin said: "You can!"
It is clear that the flight would have taken place anyway. That everything was agreed on at all levels, but … This is not toadying, is it? This is the highest respect of the student to the teacher - to provide the opportunity to Ilyushin to take the car bearing his name on the first flight …
And work again. Now Novozhilov carried on his shoulders, as if on wings, the entire scope of responsibility for the OKB.
1969 year. In America, there is a huge fuss about the first flight of the Boeing 747. Aviation Industry Ministers Dementyev and Civil Aviation Ministers Bugaev set Novozhilov the task of “catching up and overtaking”.
By this time, Soviet domestic traffic had reached a figure of 100 million passengers a year. A new plane was needed to service large flows of passengers to places of mass recreation.
The task was very difficult. A liner for 350 passenger seats, and even with a flight range of 5000 km, is a difficult matter. And we started it by working out possible options. We considered the possibility of transforming the passenger Il-62 and even the transport Il-76.
As a result, the OKB sat down for the development of a completely new aircraft. At the end of 1976, the first prototype IL-86 was rolled out onto the airfield of the Central Aerodrome.
The result of this work was 103 serial Il-86, built in Voronezh. In twenty years, the planes have carried approximately 150 million passengers. Among other things, the Il-86 went down in history as one of the most reliable aircraft in the world and deservedly became a platform for the development of the following aircraft models.
In the IL-86, the designers have invested a huge number of original solutions. And therefore, quite deservedly, in 1984 Novozhilov was elected a full member of the USSR Academy of Sciences in the department of mechanics and control processes. His scientific work is related to aerodynamic research, the reliability of complex structures, the development of fundamentally new approaches to the so-called manufacturability of the machines and mechanisms being developed. About one and a half hundred inventions and these very "innovations" are protected by patents …
On June 23, 1981, by a closed decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, Novozhilov was awarded the second gold medal of the Hero of Socialist Labor. By that time he was already a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, then he was elected a deputy of two more convocations.
The OKB worked, the Ilys worked. IL-18D made flights across Antarctica. IL-86 carried thousands of passengers. The Il-76MD transports plowed in the armed forces, and the Il-76K was developed and built for training cosmonauts. Plus the flying hospital Il-76MD "Scalpel", which serves to this day in more than one copy.
On September 28, 1988, the Il-96-300 flew into the sky for the first time, and in March 1990, the Il-114 twin-engine turboprop, a new passenger aircraft for local airlines, made its maiden flight. On May 17, 1994, the multipurpose Il-103 took off. On August 1, 1995, the Il-76MF takes off, which cannot even be called a modification. This is such a fundamentally revised base model that the aircraft can be considered a completely different apparatus.
All these years, Genrikh Vasilievich Novozhilov led the OKB on a difficult and difficult road. We have said more than once that, for political and economic reasons, our government dealt a severe blow to the domestic aviation industry, virtually destroying the school of Soviet passenger aircraft construction.
For the last two decades, the famous design bureau turned out to be without a state order, practically without state support. We wrote with anger that the OKB even led the work on the transport Il-112 at its own expense and on its own. This is a fact that cannot be hushed up.
But even in such conditions, the OKB team was doing what it was supposed to be doing: designing and building aircraft for the needs of their country.
And this was a great merit of Novozhilov, who, even after having retired, remained an integral part of the Ilyushin Design Bureau.
Honorary General Designer of PJSC "Aviation Complex named after S. V. Ilyushin" Genrikh Novozhilov left us on April 28, 2019.
Henrikh Vasilievich had many state awards. There are many honorary titles and titles. It is good, it is wonderful when a person's work is appreciated.
But, probably, the main title is Constructor. Creator. Creator of the new. And as long as airplanes bearing the name of the great Ilyushin fly in our skies, until then we must remember his no less great disciple and continuer of this noble cause - the creation of a new one.
There was information that the plane of the President of Russia, Il-96-300PU, will bear the name "Genrikh Novozhilov".