Aviation of World War II

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Aviamechanic and Airplan. Victor Sinaisky.

June 04, 1921 — Month Day, Year

Victor Mikhailovich Sinaisky, Lieutenant Engineer

Engineering and technical staff, served in the WWII in 131 IAP; 297 Guards regiment of 99th Guards Division.

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— The most difficult aircraft to maintain?

— The most unpleasant plane is the LaGG-3. Oh, nasty plane. Heavy, with a weak, delicate M-105 engine. The pilots did not like to fly on LaGG-3, but then they got used to it - well, what to do. True, armed with a cannon, Davidkov even managed to shoot down on it. In 1942 there was a very difficult period and LaGG-3 still behaved with dignity. But our losses were greater than those of the Il-16. Preparing the LaGG-3 for flight took the most time compared to other aircraft. All engine cylinders must work synchronously - God forbid knocking down the timing! We were strictly forbidden to climb there! The ASh-82 has a gas distribution on each cylinder - it is easy to adjust. In winter, there was a complete hassle with the water-cooled motors. There was no antifreeze. You won't run the engine all night, you had to fill it with hot water in the morning.

I didn’t have to deal with “Yaks”. I know they were easier. But when La-5 appeared in 1943, everyone breathed a sigh of relief. A wonderful airpalane, with two cannons, a powerful air-cooled engine, strong, quick to climb. The first La-5s were worse than those of the Tbilisi plant, and the last ones from the Gorky plant, we received them in Ivanovo, they were excellent. At first, ordinary airpalanes went, and then they went with ASh-82FN engines with direct fuel injection into the cylinders. Well, this is generally a fairy tale. Everyone was in love with La-5. And he was good in operation. I would say that this is a soldier plane. Here "Messer" he is the same. I had to master its service in the summer of 1943, when two Me-109s flew over to us. Apparently the pilots got lost. While trying to take them prisoner, one of them shot himself, and the second, Oberfeldwebel, Edmund Rossman surrendered and collaborated with us while we were mastering the planes. For piloting them, six pilots headed by Vasily Kravtsov were selected from the division. Since I knew German well and was an aircraft mechanic, I was taken to this group.

So the Messer is a very well thought-out airpalane. Firstly, it has an inverted motor - it is not vulnerable from below. He has 2 water radiators with a cut-off system. One drip, you can fly on the second or cut off both and fly at least five minutes. Behind the pilot is covered with an armored backrest and the gas tank is behind his armored backrest, and in our center section. Therefore, we all got burned.

What else did Messer like? It is very automated and therefore very easy to operate. Our variable pitch propeller worked on oil automation, and it was impossible to change the propeller pitch on an inoperative motor. If, God forbid, you turned off the propeller at a large step, then it is impossible to turn the propeller, and it is very difficult to start the engine. The Germans had an electric propeller pitch regulator. Moreover, there was a screw angle indicator, which we did not have. The ammo counter is also a thing.

Returning to Lavochkin, I will say once again that, in my opinion, this is an excellent aircraft, very reliable and tenacious. Once my commander Boris Kozlov arrives, I see - what is it? - he has a flame from the engine. It turned out that the head of one of the cylinders had been smashed by a shell! "Yak" would be a khan, but this one flew on 13 cylinders and did not catch fire.

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Soon after the Kursk Bulge, I was sent to an interpreter course at the Military Institute of Languages of the Red Army. After that, I ended up in the Airborne Army. Near Vienna he was seriously wounded and was in Vienna in a hospital. There was a loss of hearing and speech. On May 9, 1945, my hearing was restored. They put a receiver on me, and I listened to Moscow lying down and cried with happiness. And then he worked in the intelligence department as a translator in the occupation troops.

Edmund Rossman began his military activities on the Western Front. Then he was a night fighter in the air defense system of Berlin, flew on the Me-110 "Jaguar". He had several orders, including the Knight's Iron Cross for the Flying Fortress shot down over Berlin. In the fall of 1942, when a group of "Berlin Air Snipers" was transferred to the Caucasus, Edmund ended up on the Eastern Front. Until the spring of 1943 he fought in the Caucasus, personally shot down about 40 Soviet planes.

After being on the Eastern Front, Rossman was determined to end the war. Testing the Me-109K at the front, he realized his intentions. He was convinced that the war was lost and further bloodshed was senseless and criminal.

Edmund willingly answered all our questions. We learned from him that the new model Me-109K, due to improved aerodynamics and increased engine power, develops high speed and has good climb rate and maneuverability. The maximum speed is 728 km / h, the ceiling is 12,500 m. The armament consists of a 20-mm Oerlikon cannon, firing through the propeller hub, and two large-caliber machine guns. The length of the aircraft is 9.0 m, the wingspan is 9.9 m.

Rossman gave an ambivalent assessment of our aviation: he considered the latest aircraft models to be very good, and the instrumentation and automation equipment was backward. I wondered why our planes did not have such simple and necessary things as an ammunition counter, cutoff valves on water and oil systems, an indicator of the propeller angle and others. He considered the La-5 to be the best fighter, followed by the Yak-1.


  • I fought in a fighter / Artem Drabkin /
  • Acquaintance with "Messer". / Victor Sinaisky /