Patterns in the Soviet Aircraft Industry
The Soviet aircraft industry differs from that of other countries in that its design establishment consists almost exclusively of team leaders who graduated from one school following World War I. About 1922, a true domestic aircraft industry began to emerge, feeling its way, relying heavily on foreign designs. The leaders of the design bureaus, whose names grace the aircraft built in the USSR, have generally been a generation younger than those who founded and long dominated the industry in Britain. Throughout its history, the Russian and Soviet aircraft industry has been closely attuned to and has borrowed heavily from foreign sources. A. S. Yakovlev built his own two-seater AIR-1 biplane powered by an English Cirrus engine. Yakovlev and his test pilot, Piontkovsky, flew the plane from Moscow to Sevastopol, a distance of 1,500 kilometers, in ten hours and thirty minutes.