Obituary: Nikolai Kuznetsov
Saturday 23 September 1995
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").
Nikolai Dmitreyevich Kuznetsov, aircraft engine designer: born Aktiubinsk 10 June 1911; died Samara 30 July 1995.
- 2 Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
- 3 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
Smartphones are making children borderline autistic, says psychiatrist
Nepal earthquake: More than 1,100 killed across four countries and in Mount Everest avalanche
Nepal earthquake: The race is on to help thousands trapped under rubble around Kathmandu, while remote villages face a long wait for help
Royal baby: Live updates as superbug closes ward at St Mary's Hospital where Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth
Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...
£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This privately-owned company designs and manuf...