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Russian Lindbergh: The Life Of Valery Chkalov #SIPSFT0019
Russian Lindbergh: The Life Of Valery Chkalov
Smithsonian Institution Press

The book, Russian Lindberg: The Life Of Valery Chkalov is part of the Smithsonian History Of Aviation Series, which chronicles the development of aerospace technology and its evolution.  This series covers both civil and military themes along with a thorough study of the cultural impact of the airplane. ‘Russian Lindberg: The Life Of Valery Chkalov “ tells the story of arguably the most famous Russian aviator of the 1930s.  Often referred to as the “Russian Lindberg” Chkalov was born in 1904 and became an aircraft mechanic during the Russian Civil War.  Chkalov qualified as a pilot at the age of seventeen and subsequently joined the Russian Air Force, where he quickly gained the reputation as a skilled but aggressive flier.  In 1929, Chkalov was briefly discharged from the air force after he caused an accident that killed another pilot.  In 1930 Chkalov rejoined the air force but resigned in 1933 to work as a test pilot for designer Nikolai Polikarpov.  In addition to his test pilot duties, Chkalov turned to long-distance flying during the 1930s and it is this field that he gained his greatest renown.  Flying with Georgy Baidukov as copilot and Alexander Belyakov as navigator, Chkalov set an unofficial world record for long distance flying in July, 1936 by flying from Moscow to Udd Island, off the coast of Kamchatka.  Later, on June 18, 1937 the same team of intrepid aviators gained international fame by flying from Moscow to Vancouver, Washington by flying over the North Pole.  Chkalov’s aviation talents coupled with his charm made him, one of Joseph Stalin’s most famed aviator heroes during the 1930s.  Unfortunately, Valery Chkalov’s life came to a tragic end when he died while testing a prototype Polikarpov I-180 under somewhat mysterious circumstances.  The major sections of “Russian Lindberg: The Life Of Valery Chkalov” are as follows: 1) Acknowledgements; 2) Foreword; 3) Introduction; 4) Part One – Getting To Know Life including (Chapter 1 – Childhood, Chapter 2 – Earning Wings & Chapter 3 – Fighter Pilot); 5) Part Two – In The World Of Creation including (Chapter 4 – Test Pilot For The Air Force Scientific Research Institute & Chapter – 5 – The Factory Test Pilot); 6) Part Three – In The World Arena including (Chapter 6 – The First Flight Across The Artic Ocean, Chapter 7 – A Second Flight Across The Artic Ocean & Chapter 8 – Chkalov In America); 7) Part Four – The Last Episode including (Chapter 9 – After The Flight & Chapter 10 – The Last Test Flight); 8) Notes and 9) Bibliography.  In addition to an informative narrative, “Russian Lindberg: The Life Of Valery Chkalov” includes the following features: 1) Approximately 27 vintage black and white photographs and 2) 1 map.  This book is 330 pages and is in excellent condition.  The author is Georgiy Baidukov with Peter Belov (Russian to English translation) and Von Hardesty (editing).  Edition published in 1991.  


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