MOZHAISKY


MOZHAISKY
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21.3.1825 Kotka/FI - 1.4.1890 St. Petersburg/RU
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Aleksandr Fedorovich Mozhaisky was born in Finland, then a part of the Russian Empire. He graduated as a naval engineer from the Naval College in Saint Petersburg in 1841. He initiated his career with a long voyage to Japan to become later the commander in chief of the Russian Navy in the Far East during the War between 1853 and 1856. Later he was in charge of the navy rescue forces in the Baltic Sea. Mozhaisky was First Captain from 1869 and retired as a Major-General in 1882.
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Unlike Otto Lilienthal (1848-1896), Mozhaisky designed his airplane as a ship of kite-like wing. During his stay in Japan, he got acquainted with kites, and as a naval engineer, ships were familiar to him too. In 1876 a large kite-airplane was designed in Voronovitsa near Saint Petersburg on his brother's estate. The kite piloted by Mozhaisky towed by horses took off first in 1878. Later, Mozhaisky worked on airplane models with spring and rubber-twisted engines. Such a model was successfully started in 1876 from a take-off table in Saint Petersburg and thus initiated aviation in Russia. In 1881, Mozhaisky patented his monoplane with a tractor and two pushing propeller engines. These works were partly sponsored by the Russian Government that took interest in the application of airplanes for military purposes. However, a more substantial support came from Dmitri I. Mendeleev (1834-1907), the famous Russian chemist and keen pioneer in aviation, according to whom heavier-than-air airplanes had a great potential. In 1882, the airplane was assembled close to Saint Petersburg. First tests were one year later with the monoplane having a wooden fuselage of boat shape. The wing had a span of some 23 m and a surface of some 300 m2. The wing surface was supported with steel wires joined with two masts in the fuselage and with the carriage. The tail had a horizontal and a vertical rudder. A less powerful 10 HP steam generator at the nose end of the fuselage turned the front propeller, whereas the 20 HP engine turned the two side propellers. Owing to its large weight of over a ton, associated with a high center of gravity, this airplane could only maneuver on prepared terrain. The first slight takeoff was around 1884, yet the design became unstable, turned to the side and broke its wing. A second design with more powerful engines was never realized.
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Shavrov, V.B. (1977). Mozhaisky. Great Soviet Encyclopedia 16: 593. MacMillan: New York. Sobolev, D.A. (1991). Alexander Fedorovich Mozhaisky. Jahrbuch DGLR (2): 1269-1273. P Sokolsky, V.N. (1975). A.F. Mozhaisky. Scienziati e tecnologi http://www.ctie.monash.edu.au/hargrave/mozhaisky.html 2: 419-420. Mondadori: Milano. http://www.ctie.monash.edu.au/hargrave/mozhaisky.html P

Hydraulicians in Europe 1800-2000 . 2013.

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