Aviation of World War II

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Alexander Kartveli

Alexander Kartveli
(September 9, 1896-Julay 20, 1974)


Alexander Kartveli was born in Russia, where he received a military education. After the revolution, Kartveli left his homeland and moved to Paris, where he wanted to continue his military career. It turned out to be impossible for a foreigner. Then the best use of his forces Kartveli considered aviation: "There was an element of luck here, - Alexander himself explained, - aviation was a rapidly developing and promising industry, both in terms of science and technology."

In Paris, Kartveli met the American designer Charles Levine, the owner of the Bellanca company, on the plane of which Charles Lindbergh was soon to cross the Atlantic. Levine liked Kartveli's idea to build a plane for a transatlantic flight, and he invited the Russian to his New York office. So Kartveli ended up in an unfamiliar country without money, friends and even knowledge of the language.

In the USA In 1931, Kartveli met with the famous pilot and inventor A. Prokofiev-Seversky, who emigrated from Russia after the October Revolution. Seversky offered him the position of chief engineer at the newly formed Seversky Aircraft Corp. in Long Island, New York ", and Kartveli readily agreed. The creative collaboration of two talented specialists gave excellent results. In the thirties, the Seversky company produced such excellent aircraft for its time as the amphibian SEV-3, on which a world speed record, a new generation AT-8 trainer, the first American high-speed fighter-monoplane R-35.

In 1939, when by decision of the board of directors Seversky was removed from the post of president of the company, and the company itself was renamed "Republic", Kartveli was appointed vice president and head of the design bureau of the company. From that moment until the early 1960s. he was the chief designer of all Republic aircraft. Kartveli's appointment to his new post coincided with the outbreak of World War II. America was still neutral, but preparations for war had already begun. The military demanded new, more advanced combat aircraft. The answer to these demands was the appearance of the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, the largest and most powerful fighter of the Second World War. The first flight of the R-47 took place on May 6, 1941.The presence of a turbocharger, driven by the flow of exhaust gases from the engine, provided the aircraft with excellent flight qualities at high altitudes (on the latest aircraft modifications, its speed was almost 700 km / h), and a significant fuel capacity tanks - unusually long range. If we also take into account the powerful weapons and high combat survivability due to the relatively low vulnerability of the air-cooled engine and the measures for the armor protection of the pilot and aircraft components, it becomes clear why the P-47 "Thunderbolt" is often called the best fighter of the Second World War.