Polikarpov, Nikolai

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Polikarpov, Nikolai Nikolaevich


Born June 26 (July 8), 1892, in the settlement of Georgievskaia, now in Livny Raion, Orel Oblast; died July 30, 1944, in Moscow. Soviet aircraft designer. Hero of Socialist Labor (1940).

After graduating in 1916 from the Petrograd Polytechnic Institute and the institute’s aviation and aeronautics courses, Poli-karpov worked at the Russko-Baltiiskii Plant in Petrograd, where he participated in the construction of the Il’ia Muromets airplane. He directed the design and construction of various airplanes in Moscow from 1918. In 1923 he created the first Soviet fighter plane, the I-1 (IL-400), and in 1928 the 1–3 fighter plane, as well as the U-2 (Po-2) training plane, which, with various modifications, was manufactured in large numbers until 1953. The Po-2 and the R-5 reconnaissance plane of 1929 received prizes at international aviation exhibits in 1930 and 1936.

From 1933 to 1938, Polikarpov directed the design of the I-15, I-16, and I-153 Chaika fighter planes, which formed the basis of Soviet fighter aviation in the prewar years. He designed several experimental war planes between 1938 and 1944. He was one of the first to divide airplane design into several specialized stages. He became a professor at the Moscow Aviation Institute in 1943. He was a deputy to the first convocation of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Polikarpov was awarded the State Prize of the USSR in 1941 and 1943, two Orders of Lenin, and the Order of the Red Star.


Andreev, E. “N. N. Polikarpov i ego samolety.” Vestnik Vozdushnogo flota, 1951, no. 7.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.