The Creative Work of Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant

All the World's Rotorcraft

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV

M.L.Mil expired on 31st January 1970. Moscow Helicopter Plant was named after him.

His follower and companion-in-arms Marat Nikolayevich Tishchenko, aged 39, became a new plant manager. He was born on February 18, 1931 in Kharkov. At 1956 he completed his studies at the Moscow Aviation Institute with honours, having specialised in helicopter building. While a student he was seriously attracted by aviamodelism. In 1954 he has set up the world record of model-helicopter flight duration. M.N.Tishchenko joined Mil's design bureau. Soon, working in aerodynamics team, he proved his worth as a promising expert and hard-working scientist. He elaborated method of computing main rotor aerodynamic features, taking into account non-linear profile features on the basis of blade vortex theory, thus ensuring high accuracy in calculating helicopters' flight features.

Marat N. Tishchenko
( 1931 )
the head of Mil helicopter plant
in 1970-1991

In 1961 M.N.Tishchenko was in charge of aerodynamics team in the Department of aerodynamics and stability. Mil pinned great hopes on his talented follower and two years later entrusted to him the team of perspective design, which set the basic trends in Experimental Design Bureau creative activities. Soon this team was transformed into the department of general perspectives and prospective design. Marat Nikolayevich directly participated in designing Mi-2, Mi-6, Mi-8 and Mi-12 helicopters. In 1967 after defending his dissertation M.N.Tishchenko became a deputy chief designer and Mil entrusted to him the programme of building and flight tests of V-12 air giant.

So when M.N.Tishchenko had to head the Moscow Helicopter Plant after Mil's death, he already enjoyed high authority as scientist, designer and organiser. However the attitude of the Ministry for Aviation Industry to him was ambivalent. Some thought, that he was too young, others still didn't regard helicopters as "real" aviation. Therefore new plant manager didn't became designer general - he was appointed chief designer (as managers of auxiliary branches in aviation industry). This decision not only hurt enterprise's pride, but also diminished its abilities in taking part in new programmes and in being financed. Some programmes "started to skid" and financing became worse. But despite all difficulties the employees supported the young manager and during 70s successfully completed tests and development of the most powerful in the world Mi-24 combat helicopter and Mi-14 antisubmarine amphibian helicopter, implemented the programme of thorough upgrading Mi-8 - helicopter of the century, created the range of their modifications and commenced designing new family of helicopters of the third generation.

During those years the plant structure was transformed. The existence of separate design bureaux within Experimental Design Bureau livelihood was regarded unreasonable, and it was divided into departments and teams, mostly with their original specialisation. Managing staff was increased. Expert in helicopter armament E.V.Yablonsky, expert in control systems I.S.Dmitriyev became deputy chief designers. Z.L.Livshits was put in charge of the Experimental Design Bureau. V.D.Zernov replaced D.T.Matitsky on the post of flight test polygon manager.

In a few years the head of the department of prospective design A.N.Ivanov and expert in helicopter operation E.K.Tolkushkin were appointed deputy chief designers.

New Moscow Helicopter Plant manager carefully kept the traditions of firm's founder. Theory and practice of helicopter design was being perfected, new technologies were being mastered, the range of variants of equipping combat modifications was being widened. The designing of the new helicopters was carried out simultaneously with upgrading serial helicopters for new areas of use, with improving systems and units, aimed at increasing safety and resources of helicopters in operation. Research and experiments, aimed at solving the problems arising while testing and operating helicopters in Air Force and in Civil Air Fleet, weren't discontinued. For his work in ensuring national defence capacity M.N.Tishchenko was awarded Lenin Prize in 1976, and later he was awarded the title of a Hero of Socialistic Labour. Besides he was decorated with two Orders of Lenin, medals and received awards from foreign states. A number of engineers and workers were decorated with national and foreign orders, medals and received honorary diplomas. For its contribution to the development of national helicopter industry in 1977 Moscow Helicopter Plant was decorated with the Order of the Red Banner of Labour.

Second half of 70s saw the completion of elevating the new building of Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant EDB in Sokolnicheski Val street. Implementing the plans of city building, a part of old Experimental Design Bureau building was demolished. The employees directly participated in erecting and equipping new large light and comfortable building. In 1979 the Bureau shifted to premises equipped with everything, necessary for research and development. All complex of Experimental Design Bureau was completed two years later with the building of new dining-room. But flight-testing polygon was not as fortunate. If was still located in temporary premises in Lyubertsy.

New giant Mi-26 helicopter took off in 1977. It surpassed the best foreign helicopters in flight features. Successful completion of testing the serial Mi-26 confirmed firm's ability to create perfect helicopters of any class. In 1981 M.N.Tishchenko became designer general. That year he defended his D.Sc. thesis and received the academic rank of Professor. Then he was elected a corresponding member and a full member of Academy of Sciences. It was a high honour for all plant and a precedent in history of national helicopter-building.

Simultaneously new staff and organisational changes took place at the plant. A.N.Ivanov and E.K.Tolkushkin were appointed to approved posts of chief designers. B.S.Ostryakov and L.V.Parfenenko became deputy chief designers. In 1985 V.G.Voronin headed the flight testing complex. New departments were organised in Experimental Design Bureau, some of them were integrated to divisions. At the plant itself there were organised new sections and laboratories.

Serious research and development, establishment of experimental research complex, which doesn't have analogues in the world, preceded creating the Mi-26. In 1976 on the basis of original methods, elaborated in Experimental Design Bureau, M.N.Tishchenko and A.V.Nekrasov prepared for print fundamental research work "Helicopters. Choice of Parameters for Design". This book was highly appreciated both in USSR and abroad and translated into English. Later the works of other scientists and designers were published. Among them there were: A.S.Braverman, D.M.Perlstein and S.V.Lapisov "Balancing Single-rotor Helicopter"; S.Yu.Yesaulov O.P.Bakhov and I.S.Dmitriyev "Helicopter as Object of Control", O.P.Bakhov “Aeroelasticy and Dynamics of Helicopter Construction", etc. Authors kept the traditions of Mil's research and design school right. In 1977 at Moscow Helicopter Plant there was organised the 5th scientific and technical conference on helicopter aerodynamics, strength and design. The conference confirmed the leading role of firm's experts in theory and practice of world helicopter building.

In plant's history 1980s marked the creation of new helicopters: powerful combat Mi-28 and light sporting Mi-34. Numerous modifications, used in Armed Forces and in national economy, were designed on the basis of existing Mi-8, Mi-14, Mi-24 and Mi-26. Mi helicopters made the base of national helicopter fleet, as before. Riches of Siberia, Far East and North were developed using those helicopters. They were used as frontier guards too. Export of Mi helicopters expanded year after year. They were supplied to new regions, such as South America. Now it's very difficult to find the country, where Mi helicopters were not used.

The war in Afghanistan confirmed the reliability and efficiency of Mi helicopters. They endured the rigorous of the heaviest battles. Moscow Helicopter Plant engineers gained an unique experience of helicopters development, aimed at increasing their combat efficiency and "vitality" in extreme situations. Plant employees used to go to the zone of hostilities to study the peculiarities of their helicopters operation at the spot. Improvements, which were carried out, permitted to drastically reduce personnel and machine losses in that unpopular war.

In 1986 Mi helicopters were used for eliminating the consequences of Chernobyl accident. They were used for evaluating radiation situation, for localising radioactive products discharge, for aimed dropping the insulating components while blocking the reactor and for fast cargo delivery to the station. From the first day of accident plant employees were busy with creating special systems and equipment for helicopters. Many of them took part in rescue works, carried out with the help of helicopters.

Socio-political crisis of mid-eighties influenced firm's activities. Projects of transformable helicopters, heavy load lifting helicopters and many other promising works didn't receive due support. Therefore plant employees perceived the policy of "perestroyka" with enthusiasm. There commenced elaboration of absolutely new types of helicopters, area for international co-operation was gradually extended, engineers were able to take part in different prestigious international scientific conferences and forums.

At 1991 M.N.Tishchenko retired. For the first time there were held democratic elections of new designer general. Mark Vladimirovich Vainberg was elected to this post by overwhelming majority.

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV

From "Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant. 50 years" by V.R.Miheyev