Valery Pavlovich Chkalov-the Aviator of 1930-s

(1904 – 1938), test pilot and polar aviator.

Born in the Volga town of Vasilevo (now Chkalovsk), Valery Pavlovich Chkalov went on to become the USSR’s most famous aviator of the 1930s. Hailed as the “Greatest Pilot of Our Times” and named a Hero of the Soviet Union, Chkalov, often referred to as the “Russian Lindbergh,” remains one of the Stalinist era’s greatest and best-loved celebrities.
During the mid-1930s, Chkalov turned to long-distance flying and polar aviation, where he achieved his greatest renown. With Georgy Baidukov as copilot and Alexander Belyakov as navigator, Chkalov set an unofficial world record for distance flying in July 1936, by flying from Moscow to Udd Island, off the coast of Kamchatka. On June 18, 1937, the same team gained international fame by flying from Moscow to Vancouver, Washington, crossing over the North Pole along the way. This was an official world record, and even though it was broken the following month by Mikhail Gromov (who also flew to America over the North Pole), Chkalov’s bluff, hearty charm made him the most admired of “Stalin’s falcons,” the hero-pilots featured so prominently in the propaganda of the 1930s.
Chkalov died on December 15, 1938, testing a prototype of the Polikarpov I-180. He was given a hero’s funeral and buried in the Kremlin Wall.
Let me add that I was impressed by getting to know more about this courageous man and feel proud of being the citizen of the the country, which was close for him until the Soviet Union failed. Such people are our history and students should know their heroic deeds. Hope that someone will check up this biography of Valery Chkalov and spread the info over other students of WIUU.

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~ by vitaliysedyuk on February 27, 2007.

One Response to “Valery Pavlovich Chkalov-the Aviator of 1930-s”

  1. I’m glad you are proud of your fellow countryman who was brave but died a tragic death doing the thing he loved to do.

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