Archive for the ‘Prominent Russians’ Category

The Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics (BINP) is one of the major centers of advanced study of nuclear physics in Russia. It was founded by Andrey Mikhailovich Budker a nuclear physicist. He was appointed Corresponding Member of the Siberian branch of the Soviet Academy of Sciences on March 28, 1958, and was made an Academician of the division of nuclear physics on June 26, 1964. He is best known for his invention in 1968 of electron cooling, a method of reducing the emittance of particle beams by thermalisation with a co-propagating electron beam.

The BINP is not actually an institute because has its own production and unique for Russian technologies. The BINP now employs over 3000 people, and hosts several research groups and facilities.

The BINP is the only institute in the world that pays for its experiments by itself by selling its inventions to other countries (particle accelerators, vacuum systems, resonators, etc.). Their devices help other countries disinfect medical equipment, grain, food, air and water.  It produces X-ray devices used at airports and medical institutions and a great number of other devices used around the world.

The BINP is making this particle accelerator for Brookhaven National Laboratory (the United States).


The BINP has a free electron laser (FEL), the only laser of its type in Russia. They are making a FEL in Germany right now which is a joint project of France, Germany and the BINP. Its cost exeeds 1 billion Euros.

A free electron laser is a laser that shares the same optical properties as conventional lasers but which uses some very different operating principles to form the beam. FELs use a relativistic electron beam as the lasing medium which moves freely through a magnetic structure, hence the term free electron. The free electron laser has the widest frequency range of any laser type, and can be widely tunable,currently ranging in wavelength from microwaves, through terahertz radiation and infrared, to the visible spectrum, to ultraviolet, to X-rays.

The FEL.

In terms of accelerator physics, the BINP can be considered a world class institute because it is one of the two institutes in the world which have invented a collider.

The BINP is planning to build a c-tau factory that will become the largest project in Russian fundamental physics of the last several decades.

The so called probkotron.


Svyatoslav Mishnev heads the VEPP-3. He is one of the oldest accelerator physics of the institute and the country.



Read Full Post »

Yevgeny Roshal is a Russian software engineer best known as developer of:

  • FAR file manager (1996–2000)
  • RAR file format (1993)
  • WinRAR file archiver (It was Eugene’s university dissertation) It’s strength: High RAR compression, decompression of large number of different archiving formats, multivolume archives.

Alexey Pajitnov is a Russian computer engineer, currently residing in the United States, who developed the popular game Tetris while working for the Computing Center of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, a Soviet government-founded R&D center.

He began working for Microsoft in October 1996. Pajitnov worked for the Microsoft Entertainment Pack: The Puzzle Collection, MSN Mind Aerobics and MSN Games groups. Pajitnov’s new, enhanced version of Hexic, Hexic HD, was included with every new Xbox 360 Premium package. He left Microsoft in 2005.
On August 18, 2005 WildSnake Software announced Pajitnov will be collaborating with them to release a new line of puzzle games.

On March 7, 2007, Alexey Pajitnov received the Game Developers Choice Awards First Penguin Award. The award was given for pioneering the casual games market.
On June 24, 2009, Alexey Pajitnov received the honorary award at the LARA – Der Deutsche Games Award in Cologne, Germany.

Read Full Post »

  • 1909 : Igor Sikorsky build his first machine in Russia, but this first Sikorsky helicopter never left the ground, and a second which followed in 1910 fails too, so he stopped and turn to fixed wing aircraft until 1930.

Sikorsky, who fled from the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, encouraged the United States Government to agree to a considerable budget of two million dollars for rotary-wing research in 1938. The government ended up choosing a joint Sikorsky-Vought effort to be funded. The resulting machine, the VS-300, was indeed quite different from earlier models.

  • Sept 14, 1939 : VS-300

First flight of an US helicopter. The VS designation was used for several years when the Chance Vought and Sikorsky Divisions of UTC, were combined.

The VS-300 had a four-cylinder, 75 horsepower air-cooled engine, a three-bladed main rotor, 8.53 m in diameter, a welded tubular steel frame; a power transmission consisting of V-belts and bevel gears; a three-wheel landing gear arrangement and a completely open pilot’s seat.

By the middle of 1940, the VS-300 was able to stay in the air for 15 minutes.

  •  May 6, 1941: with Igor Sikorsky at the controls, established a world helicopter endurance record of 1 hour, 32 minutes, 26 seconds.


  • Jan 14, 1942 : Vought-Sikorsky VS 316 [S-48] Hoverfly (R-4) Developed from the VS-300, the R-4 was the USAF’s (at that time US Army Air Service Corp) first service helicopter. The Navy designation was HNS

R-4B :
Rotor diameter: 11.58 m
Length: 10.35 m
Height: 3.6 m
Weight: 960 kg
Engine: Warner R-550 of 200 hp.
Speed: Max: 120 Km/h Cruise : 104
Range: 240 km
Service Ceiling: 2430 m

  • May 6, 1943 : US Navy representatives witnessed landing trials of the XR-4 helicopter aboard the merchant tanker Bunker Hill in a demonstration sponsored by the Maritime Commission and conducted in Long Island Sound. The pilot, Colonel R. F. Gregory, USAAF, made about 15 flights, and in some of these flights he landed on the water before returning to the platform on the deck of the ship.

  • Jul 7, 1943 : First US Coast Guard Helo Detachment at Sikorsky Helicopter Airport in Bridgeport, Conn.


  • Aug 18, 1943 : Vought-Sikorsky VS 327 ( R-5 / XR-6 )

An all metal and bigger than the R-4 was built as XR-5 (prototypes) and YR-5A (pre production) for evaluation by the USAAF.

The Navy designation was HO2S

  • Oct 15, 1943 : Vought-Sikorsky VS 316A Hoverfly II (R-6)

This two-seat helicopter was a refined version of the R-4, more advanced in performance and appearance. The Navy designation was HO5S R-6A :
Rotor diameter: 11.58 m
Length: 11.60 m
Height: 3.4 m
Weight: Max: 1082 kg
Engine: One Franklin O-405-9 of 235 hp.
Speed: 110 km/h Max.154
Range: 565 km
Service Ceiling: 4000 m

The S-16 was the first Sikorsky fighter with a machine gun synchronized to fire through the propeller without hitting the blades and was the first Russian fighter actually built in Russia. The 4-wheeled front landing gear was intended to deal with “soggy Russian fields” and the airplane could be equipped instead with a pair of skis for when those soggy fields became frozen during the harsh Russian winters.

Today, Sikorsky helicopters occupy a prominent position in the intermediate to heavy range of 11,700 lb (5,300 kg) to 73,500 lb (33,000 kg) gross weight. They are used by all five branches of the United States armed forces, along with military services and commercial operators in 40 nations.

Read Full Post »

Although he never attempted to force anyone to accept his beliefs, Mr. Sikorsky wrote two books, “The Message of the Lord’s Prayer,” and “The Invisible Encounter,” as well as numerous pamphlets, to express them.

In the first book, Mr. Sikorsky expressed his belief in a final destiny for man and a higher order of existence, while in the second, he pleaded that modern civilization has a greater need for spiritual rather than material power.

It was Mr. Sikorsky’s abiding faith in God and his strong belief in the importance of the individual that helped him overcome the frustrations and failures that marked his career.

“The idea of a vehicle that could lift itself vertically from the ground and hover motionless in the air was probably born at the same time that man first dreamed of flying.”

“The work of the individual still remains the spark that moves mankind ahead even more than teamwork.”

“The helicopter approaches closer than any other [vehicle] to fulfillment of mankind’s ancient dreams of the flying horse and the magic carpet.”

“Supersonic airplanes have carried men at more than 2,000 miles per hour and there are reasons to believe that this speed will be doubled by 1960 or so.”

Read Full Post »

The 1917 Russian Revolution ended Sikorsky’s first aviation career. He left Russia, and a considerable personal fortune, to go to France in 1917,  where he was commissioned to design a large bomber for service in Allied air forces. However, the aircraft was still on the drawing board when the Armistice was signed in November 1918.

The lack of work in the French aircraft industry forced Sikorsky to emigrate to the United States in March 1919. To survive, he taught and lectured; the industry was in a slump. However, Sikorsky’s reputation and strength of character were such that he actually convinced some of his students and friends to pool their resources to create Sikorsky Aero Engineering Corp. of Westbury, Long Island, in March 1923.  The firm began its activities, on a chicken farm and developed the first of Pan American Airways’ ocean-conquering flying boats in the 1930s. The Sikorsky Manufacturing Company became a part of United Aircraft and Transport (now United Technologies Corporation)

In 1939 Sikorsky designed and flew the Vought-Sikorsky VS-300, the first viable helicopter, which pioneered the rotor configuration used by most helicopters today. Sikorsky would modify the design into the Sikorsky R-4, which became the world’s first mass-produced helicopter in 1942. As the general manager of Sikorsky Aircraft said in the mid-1960s: “Before Igor Sikorsky flew the VS-300 there was no helicopter industry; after he flew it, there was.”

The first product from the young and financially shaky concern was the S-29-A (“A” for America), a twin-engine, all-metal transport which proved a forerunner of the modern airliner. Other aircraft designs followed, but the company achieved its most notable success with the twin-engine S-38 amphibian, which Pan American Airways used to open air routes to Central and South America. Later, as a subsidiary of United Aircraft Corporation, the company operated the luxurious Flying Clippers which pioneered commercial air transportation across both oceans. The last Sikorsky flying boat, S-44, would for years hold the record for fastest transatlantic flight.

Realizing his childhood dream

At the same time Sikorsky spent his spare time on this childhood dream. His first experimental helicopter VS-300 made its first untethered flight in May 1940, and it was shortly followed by the R-4, the first mass-produced helicopter model in the world and the only helicopter used by the Allies in World War II.

The Sikorsky S-55 was the first helicopter to cross the Atlantics and the Pacific Ocean with an in-flight refueling.

The dormant concept of the helicopter resurfaced, and Sikorsky turned once again to notes and sketches he had jotted down for possible designs, some of which were patented. On 14 September 1939, he took his VS-300 a few feet off the ground to give the western hemisphere its first practical helicopter, the child from which today’s helicopter industry grew.
The next phase began in July 1940  when the officer in charge of the U.S. Army’s helicopter development program visited Sikorsky; he was so impressed by what he saw the that he recommended, and got financial backing for, a new military design. Military contracts followed and, in 1943, large-scale manufacture made the R-4 the world’s first production helicopter. They were thoroughly if not brutally tested by all three, not to mention the U.S. Coast Guard and British Fleet Air Arm, over the worst sorts of terrain and in the worst types of weather, from Alaska all the way to Burma. While in Burma, in April 1944,  a YR-4B performed the world’s first recorded casualty evacuation flight by helicopter: a stranded pilot and three wounded soldiers were lifted from behind Japanese lines, one at a time.
The importance of the helicopter was so great that Vought-Sikorsky Aircraft was dissolved on 1 January 1943  and Sikorsky became once again an independent division within United Aircraft.

Read Full Post »

A boy´s vision

Not as an Explorer or an Adventurer, but as an Inventor Igor Sikorsky has become immortal.

His devotion to aviation and the pursuit for design perfection were given impetus by a work of fiction. When he was 11, Igor had a dream inspired by Jules Verne’s novel Robur the Conqueror of flying a giant heavier-than-air vessel kept in the air by numerous propellers.
He was very disappointed when his parents told him airships like this didn’t exist and were unlikely to come into life. This didn’t stop the boy from trying to build a rotorcraft machine of his own design with a rotor powered by a rubber band.

Igor Sikorsky was a Russian American pioneer of aviation in both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. He designed and flew the world’s first multi-engine fixed-wing aircraft, the Russky Vityaz in 1913, and the first airliner, Ilya Muromets, in 1914.

The eventful life of one of the world’s foremost aviation pioneers, also one of the best known and best loved figures in aviation, was marked by three successive and distinguished careers.

Igor Sikorsky was best known for:
– the construction of the first multiengine aircraft;
– pioneer work in transoceanic flight; and
– the development of the helicopter.

Sikorsky began studying at the Saint Petersburg Imperial Russian Naval Academy, in 1903, at the age of 14. In 1906, he determined that his future lay in engineering, so he resigned from the Academy, despite his satisfactory standing, and left the Russian Empire to study in Paris. He returned to Russia in 1907, enrolling at the Mechanical College of the Kiev Polytechnic Institute. After the academic year, Sikorsky again accompanied his father to Germany in the summer of 1908, where he learned of the accomplishments of the Wright brothers’ Flyer and Ferdinand von Zeppelin’s dirigible. Sikorsky later said about this event: “Within twenty-four hours, I decided to change my life’s work. I would study aviation.”

He started acting on his boyhood dream. During a demonstration of the S-5, the engine quit and Sikorsky was forced to make a crash landing to avoid a wall. It was discovered that a mosquito in the gasoline had been drawn into the carburetor, starving the engine of fuel. The close call convinced Sikorsky of the need for an aircraft that could continue flying if it lost an engine. His next aircraft, the S-6 held three passengers and was selected as the winner of the Moscow aircraft exhibition held by the Russian Army in February 1912.

In early 1912, Igor Sikorsky became Chief Engineer of the aircraft division for the Russian Baltic Railroad Car Works (Russko-Baltiisky Vagonny Zavod or R-BVZ) in Saint Petersburg. His work at R-BVZ included the construction the first four-engine airplane, the S-21 Russky Vityaz, which he called Le Grand. He also served as the test pilot for its first flight on 13 May 1913. In recognition for his accomplishment, he was awarded an honorary degree in engineering from Saint Petersburg Polytechnical Institute in 1914. Sikorsky took the experience from building the Russky Vityaz to develop the S-22 Ilya Muromets airliner. Due to outbreak of World War I, he redesigned it as the world’s first four-engined bomber, for which he was decorated with the Order of St. Vladimir.

After World War I, Igor Sikorsky briefly became an engineer for the French forces in Russia, during the Russian Civil War. Seeing little opportunity for himself as an aircraft designer in war-torn Europe, and particularly Russia, ravaged by the October Revolution and Civil War, he emigrated to the United States, arriving in New York on March 30, 1919.

Read Full Post »