Obituary: Nikolai Kuznetsov - People - News - The Independent

Obituary: Nikolai Kuznetsov

Nikolai Kuznetsov was a leading designer of aircraft engines in the Soviet Union for 40 years from 1946.

He headed the design teams for the engines that powered the TU-114, TU- 154, AN-22 and IL-62 airliners and the TU-144 supersonic passenger aircraft (dubbed "Concordski" in the West), and was the last survivor of the "Big Five" aviation scientists who played a key role in the Soviet war machine.

Kuznetsov worked closely with the four most secret names in aviation design: Sergei Korolev; Andrei Tupolev (who died in 1972); Sergei Ilyushin, with whom he worked until Ilyushin's death in 1977; and Oleg Antonov, who died in 1984.

Kuznetsov was born in 1911 in Aktiubinsk (White Hill), in Turgai Province. He attended Zhukovsky Military Aviation Engineering Academy, in Moscow, graduating in 1938, and going on to work at highly secret military institutes. This was a time when Korolev, Stalin's designer-in-chief, had been arrested on suspicion of being a German spy, and was working on jet engines with a group of other scientists, among them Tupolev, at a special prison laboratory.

In this atmosphere of spy paranoia, Kuznetsov was appointed deputy chief designer of military aircraft in 1943 and was put under surveillance by Lavrentii Beria's secret police. In 1946 he was made designer-in-chief of his institute. In 1956 Nikita Khrushchev appointed Kuznetsov to be Soviet Designer-in- Chief for aircraft engines. Until 1973, Kuznetsov's name was never mentioned in the Soviet press. He would be referred to only as "Glavny Konstruktor" ("Designer-in-Chief").

Jeanne Vronskaya

Nikolai Dmitreyevich Kuznetsov, aircraft engine designer: born Aktiubinsk 10 June 1911; died Samara 30 July 1995.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Manager - Edgware, London - £45,000

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - Edgware, Lon...

HR Manager - London - £40,000 + bonus

£32000 - £40000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager (Generalist) -Old...

Talent Manager / HR Manager - central London - £50,000

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Talent / Learning & Development Mana...

HR Manager (standalone) - London

Up to £40,000: Ashdown Group: Standalone HR Manager role for an SME business b...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week