Encyclopaedia "XX century celebrities"
Alexandr Sergeevich Yakovlev - General designer of aircraft, academician of Academy of Science of the USSR, colonel-general, twice Hero of Labor, laureate of Lenin and seven State prizes. Was born on 1 of April of 1906 in Moscow. In 1919-1922 was working as a messenger and was studying in school at the same time. Beginning from 1922 participated in flying air models construction at school club. Form 1923 he is an activist of well known in Russia aviation societies: ODVF, Aviachim and Osoaviachim. Yakovlev A.S. - is one of the pioneers of the soviet mass aircraft modelling, gliding and sport aviation. He had built his first prize winner glider AVF-10 in 1924; light aircraft AIR-1 - in 1927 that set first world records under U.I. Piontkovsky piloting. The maiden flight of AIR-1 on 12 of May of 1927 is considered to be Yakovlev Design Bureau birthday.
In 1924 he voluntarily jointed the Red Army and was on military service in Zhukovsky Academy as an aircraft fitter. He entered Zhukovsky Academy and was its student in period OF 1927-31 and at the same time was building light aircraft with a team of designers and workers. In 1931 he headed the group of light aviation at plant ¹39 and in 1934 was promoted to the head of designing and production bureau of "Spetsaviatrest". In 1935 -1956 A.S.Yakovlev was the Chief Designer of Design Bureau at plant ¹115 and Director of this plant at the same time until 1952. During the World War II he was appointed (1940 - 1946) by the Deputy of Aviation Minister. From 1956 A.S.Yakovlev was the General Designer until 1984 when he had retired.
During his activity he combined jobs of chief designer of aviation plants ¹47 (1934), ¹464 (1947), chairman of Ministry of Aviation Industry scientific board (1947-1949), Head of Moscow Aviation Institute Aircraft Design Department (1945, 1959), chairman of aviation magazine editorial board (1942-1947), Supreme Soviet Deputy (1946-1986).
For 60 years of creative activity A.S.Yakovlev was at the headed of nearly 200 aircraft projects of different types and modifications and 100 of them were produced serially. Among them: the liaison aircraft AIR-6 (1932), the most speedy soviet aircraft AIR-7 (332 km/h, 1932) and BB-22 (567 km/h, 1939); the first mass monoplane trainers UT-2 (1932) and UT-1 (1936); key World War II fighters Yak-1, Yak-7, Yak-9, Yak-3 and dozens of their modifications (1940-1946) that constituted two thirds of Soviet fighters fleet in the War. Yakovlev was one of the pionees of jet aviation in the USSR. Under his leadership there were developed serial combat jets: Yak-15 (1946) - the first soviet jet fighter that entered field service; Yak-25 (1952) - the first all-weather interceptor; Yak-27R (1958)- the first supersonic reconnaissance aircraft; Yak-28 - the first soviet front bomber and interceptor and many other versions; short take-off vertical landing aircraft (STOVL): Yak-36 (1964) - the first soviet STOVL and Yak-38 (1972) - the first in the world deck STOVL; the most load-lifting landing troops serial vehicles - Yak-14 glider (1948) and Yak-24 helicopter (1952); popular trainers Yak-11 (1945), Yak-18 (1946), Yak-18T (1967), Yak-52 (1974); light general aviation aircraft Yak-12 (1947); aerobatic aircraft Yak-18P, PM,PS, Yak-50, Yak-55 (1960-1981) that were flown by the soviet pilots and won 69 first prizes at the World and Europeans aerobatic championships; mass civil jets: Yak-40 (1966) - the first in the world regional jet and the only soviet aircraft that was certified according to western airworthiness requirement and was bought by Italy, German and other countries and the most economical native regional airliner Yak-42 (1975); unmanned flying vehicles (1983).
A.S.Yakovlev created his specific school in aircraft construction that is characterized by high design culture including weight economy, simplicity of design solutions and breadth of innovative thinking.
A.S.Yakovlev was awarded by: 10 Lenin orders, October revolution order, 2 Red Banner orders, Suvorov order 1-st and 2-d degree, 2 Patriotic War orders 1-st degree, Labor Red Banner order and Red Star order, medals, French orders - Officer of a Legion of Honour and Military crux (1939-1945), FAI aviation golden medal.
Yakovlev's bronze monument is installed in Moscow against Yakovlev Design Bureau building. A.S.Yakovlev is the author of books published in the USSR and in 13 foreign countries with total edition more than 3 millions books including such bestsellers as "Goal of Life", "Aircraft Designer Stories", "Soviet Aircraft".
A.S.Yakovlev died on 22 of August of 1989 and buried at Novodevichie cemetery in Moscow.