Petr Nikolaevich Nesterov

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Nesterov, Petr Nikolaevich


Born Feb. 15 (27), 1887, in Nizhny Novgorod, now Gorky; died Aug. 26 (Sept. 8), 1914, near Zholkva, now the city of Nesterov, L’vov Oblast, Ukrainian SSR. Russian military pilot; staff captain. Son of an officer.

In 1906, Nesterov graduated from the Mikhail Artillery School, and in 1912 from the St. Petersburg Officers’ Aeronautics School, to whose subdepartment of aviation he was subsequently assigned. In 1913 he received the title of military pilot and was assigned to the aviation detachment of the 7th Aerostatic Company, which was being formed in Kiev. He then became chief of a detachment of the XI Corps of the 3rd Aviation Company. He developed and introduced banking maneuvers in the art of flying. Nesterov was the founder of advanced aerobatics. He was the first to perform a number of maneuvers, including on Aug. 27, 1913, the normal loop, which came to be called the Nesterov loop. He worked out problems concerning the coordination of aviation with the ground forces and the conduct of aerial battle. He proposed the original design for a monoplane. In 1913–14 he made a record number of flights on the Kiev-Odessa-Sevastopol’ and Kiev-Gatchina routes. At the beginning of World War I (1914–18), he flew seven combat missions. He was killed in aerial combat, having been the first to ram and bring down an Austrian plane. He is buried in Kiev.


Shipilov, I. F. Zhizn’, otdannaia budushchemu, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1962.
Krivoshein, L. N. P. N. Nesterov—osnovopolozhnik aviatsionnoi taktiki. In the collection Istoricheskii arkhiv, vol. 6. Moscow, 1951.
Trunov, K. I., and M. I. Golyshev, Petr Nesterov. Moscow, 1971.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.