Vladimir Vakhmistrov

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Vladimir Sergeyevich Vakhmistrov (Russian: Владимир Сергеевич Вахмистров) (1897–1972) was a Soviet aviation engineer. He is most famous for creating a series of parasite aircraft projects under the common name Zveno.[1]


He was born on June 27, 1897 in Moscow in the family of an office clerk. He graduated from the real school in Moscow (1915). With the outbreak of the First World War, he volunteered for the army, was sent to the Mikhailovsky Artillery School . From 1916 on the front, ensign of artillery; soon transferred to aviation as a pilot-observer.

During the Civil War - fought in the Air Force of the Red Army in the Volga and Turkestan .

Only in 1921, VS Vakhmistrov succeeded in continuing his studies: first at the Turkestan University, then at the Air Force Academy. N.E. Zhukovsky (AVF, since April 17, 1925 - Air Force Academy of the Red Army) in Moscow. Being a student of the Academy, he constructs gliders : the training AVF-8 "Condor" (1924), record AVF-22 "Serpent Horynych" (1925, jointly with M. K. Tikhonravov ), "Gamayun" and "Skif" (1928, together with Tikhonravov and AA Dubrovin ). On the glider Skif during the VI All-Union gliding competitions (October 6–23, 1929, Koktebel ) by the pilotAB Yumashev established an all-Union flight altitude record for gliders - 1520 m.

From February to April 1926, Vakhmistrov as a pilot (pilot M. M. Gromov ) conducted state tests of the reconnaissance aircraft R-3 ( ANT-3 ) - the first Soviet serial all-metal aircraft and the first aircraft of AN Tupolev's design, wide enough practical application. Subsequently, aircraft of this type proved to be well against the Basmachi . http://www.airwar.ru/enc/other1/r3.html

In 1930 he graduated from the Air Force Academy, worked in the Air Force Research Institute, first - over flying targets.

In 1931 - 1940 - the developer of the link Vakhmistrov - a family of composite aircraft.

Flying aircraft carrier TB-3 -4AM-34FRN with I-16 fighters on a bomb suspension

This concept was defined as the combination of several aircraft, linked rigidly (not in tow) and flying together in order to:

delivery of fighter planes to distances exceeding the range of their action due to the fuel of the aircraft with a long flight range;

increasing the range of escorting a heavy aircraft by fighters based on it, taking off from it and landing on it;

the use of fighter jets as dive bombers for accurate targeted bombing with such large bombs that the fighter can not lift at independent take-off;

facilitating the take-off of an overloaded aircraft with the help of an auxiliary aircraft. [1]

The draft of the first version of the link, later named Zveno-1 and consisting of the TB-1 bomber and two I-4 fighters, was submitted to Vakhmistrov in June 1931 by the head of the UVVS of the Red Army, I. I. Alksnis, and received his approval. On December 3 of the same year, Vakhmistrov as a second pilot of the bomber participated in the first flight tests of "Link-1" consisting of TB-1 and two I-4s with dismantled lower planes. They were followed by experienced composite aircraft 1932 - 1939 's, including "Aviamatku" nosshuyu five fighters. Optimal remained the scheme with two fighters, according to which the last project of the "Link"TB-3 SPB (Composite Dive Bomber), in which two I-16s carried two FAB-250 bombs.

Vakhmistrov's links were not accepted for service, but in July 1941, the Vakhmistrov, on the instructions of the Black Sea Fleet Air Force, equipped three composite aircraft according to the TB-3 SPB scheme for the bombing of Constanta and Ploiesti . On July 26th, a triple SPB bombed around Constance without losses, followed by attacks on the Cernavodsky bridge on 10 and 13 August 1941 .

After the successful implementation of the TB-3 SPB project, Vakhmistrov proposed several more advanced projects of the "Link", the GTS flying boat, the heavy bomber TB-7 and the experienced heavy flying boat MTB-2 ( ANT-44 ), as hanging fighters were supposed I-15 bis, I-16, I-180, LaGG-3, MiG-3 .

At the end of 1937, the elder brother of Vakhmistrov was arrested. Vladimir Sergeevich did not mention this, he was only "demoted" in March 1938 from the Chief Designers to the head of the design team KB-29.

He was buried at the Vagankovskoye cemetery in Moscow.


  1. ^ Shavrov, V. B. The History of Aircraft Design in the USSR, 1938—1950. Moscow: Mashinostroenie, 1988. Print.