Monday, July 18, 2011

OKB Yakovlev - A History of the Design Bureau and Its Aircraft (part 1)

The design bureau, or OKB (opytno-kon-strooktorskoye byuro- Experimental Design Bureau), founded by Aleksandr Sergeyevich Yakovlev is one of the most prominent and versatile Russian (Soviet) aircraft design bureaux. This book covers the activities of Yakovlev, his design team and his successor from 1924 to the present day, that is to y, in the course of 80 years. The aircraft created by this organisation are described in the main body of the book. This account is intended to show the origins of the Yakovlev OKB and its progressive transformations, detailing the general scope of its activities and its way to prominence. Naturally, the personality of Aleksandr Yakovlev stands in the centre of this brief outline. Due attention is also given to those who have succeeded Yakovlev and are carrying on with the firm bearing his name. Aleksandr Yakovlev was born on 1st April 1906 in a prosperous family in Moscow, where his father was the chief representative of the Nobel Oil Co. As a schoolboy Yakovlev look an interest in all matters technical, but gradually his interests began to narrow lown to the aeronautical field. In 1923, his final school year, Yakovlev formed the first ODVF section at a Moscow school (ODVF = Obshchestvo droozey vozdooshnovo flota -Air Fleet Friends Society). Among many other activities Yakovlev and a friend obtained permission to take a crashed Nieuport fighter from the dump at Moscow's Central airfield (Khodynka), bring it to the school ind take it completely to pieces. This provided the young enthusiast with a valuable grounding in aircraft design.