The strangest plane USSR
Construction of the first aircraft giant ANT-20 was formally timed to the 40th anniversary of the literary activity of Maxim Gorky. Large aircraft that could clearly demonstrate "progress going by leaps and bounds," - that's what was missing the party for the information to reach even the most remote areas of the Soviet Union.
He did not have to think - the anniversary "of the Soviet writer" came in handy. Maxim Gorky knew, read, and his name became an excellent occasion to rally the nation around the Party and proressa.
Immediately thereafter, he began raising funds throughout the Soviet Union, and after a relatively short period of time managed to find about 6 million rubles for the construction of a giant by the name of "Maxim Gorky". And was organized by a special committee on the construction of the aircraft, Tupolev instructed to use achievements to create a super-heavy bomber TB-3 in the drawings of the new air fortress.
The new project not only increases the size of the aircraft, but also had to be reduced to the length of the acceleration of 300-400 meters to the ANT-20 can take off from any more or less suitable for take-off and landing piece of land in the provincial area. We coped with this, largely due to the changed architecture of the wing and the eight engines of 900 hp each with wood screws with a diameter of 4 meters.
Telephone and Telegraph
An article in a foreign newspaper about the possibility of equipping the "Maxim Gorky"
So was born the largest of its time to land the aircraft landing gear on board which had a library, printing, photographic laboratory, film projector, a power plant, radios and loudspeaker. Was not found while a function of the air staff, which can solve a variety of tasks. In addition, the board could be located a large number of passengers and a payload that was beautifully demonstrated in 1934, when the ANT-20 flew the first 10 and then 15 tonnes to a height of 5000 meters, setting a consecutive two world records.
A year in its heyday
For your second flight June 19, 1934 "Maxim Gorky" made over Red Square - so someone was anxious to demonstrate success. Although such haste was due to the fact that just at that time there was held a meeting a year ago rescued the Chelyuskin. Yesterday's heroes-pilots and sailors rescued them, enthusiastically looking at another victory of Soviet engineers - for the sake of this was possible infopovoda and night to collect from the ground plane!
For the year of its existence, "Maxim Gorky" managed to make 12 flights by rolling in particular on the board of the French writer and professional pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
By the way, surprisingly, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, all sat down again in the cockpit and even met there his death (although ten years later and already at home) after he was on board the aircraft, which it was soon to be broken, but first things first.
The bad agitation
May 18, 1935 the plane was supposed to make its last flight before sending "Maxim Gorky" propaganda squadron in his own behalf and on that day it was decided to ride on board members ANT-20 family of builders. As usual, as an accompaniment giant two conventional aircraft was allocated - a double and a fighter against which he looked even more impressive.
At the helm fighter sat test pilot Nikolai Pavlovich Blagin that immediately after takeoff began to perform dangerous and not covered by the flight scenario aerobatic maneuvers in the vicinity of the aircraft with passengers. Taking a few warm-up turns, Blagin tried to perform loop the loop on the ANT-20, but failed to gain enough power and fell directly on the air wing of the fortress, damaging the work of several motors. Even in this situation, the pilots, "Maxim Gorky" was a good chance to land the plane, but taken away from the fighter of the damaged work of controls, then the ANT-20 crashed to the holiday village.
Version of the incident dealt with a wide variety, ranging from pre-planned sabotage to equipment failure, but the most plausible and, apparently, the official considered to be that on which the pilot Blagin perform unintended aerobatics at the request of film studio of military educational films workers who had to collect a spectacular agit material for a new movie about the "Maxim Gorky".
Memorial died May 18, 1935 at the Novodevichy Cemetery, Moscow
This is supported by the fact that after the investigation of these workers convicted and awarded Blagina apartment.