Valerian Abakovsky

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Valerian Abakovsky
Born(1895-10-05)5 October 1895
Died24 July 1921(1921-07-24) (aged 25)
OccupationInventor, chauffeur
Known forAerowagon

Valerian Ivanovich Abakovsky (Russian: Валериа́н Ива́нович Абако́вский, Latvian: Valerians Abakovskis) (5 October 1895 – 24 July 1921) is best remembered as the inventor of the Aerowagon.

Early life[edit]

Ethnically Russian, he was born in Riga on October 5, 1895. Although a talented inventor, he worked as a chauffeur for the Tambov Cheka.

The Aerowagon[edit]

The invention for which Abakovsky is remembered is the Aerowagon, an experimental high-speed railcar fitted with an airplane engine and propeller propulsion. It was originally intended to carry Soviet officials.

Abakovsky's Aerowagon


On 24 July 1921, a group of communists led by Fyodor Sergeyev took the Aerowagon from Moscow to the Tula collieries to test it. Abakovsky was also on board. Although they successfully arrived in Tula, on the return route to Moscow the Aerowagon derailed at high speed, killing 6 of the 22 on board. The following people died in the accident:

  • Ivan Konstantinov, Bulgarian delegate
  • John Freeman, Australian delegate
  • Oskar Heilbrich, German delegate
  • John William Hewlett, British delegate
  • Fyodor Sergeyev (Artyom)
  • Otto Strupat, German delegate
  • Abakovsky himself, at the age of 25.

All six were buried in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis.


Alexey Abramov / Алексей Абрамов, By the Kremlin Wall / У кремлёвской стены, Moscow / Москва́, Politizdat / Политиздат, 1978, pp./стр. 399 (in Russian)