Igor Volk: the man, who has conquered the planes
On September 7, 2016 a regular creative meeting has been held at the All-Russian Scientific-Research Institute of Aviation Materials within the project “Synkletos at VIAM”. The guest of the event has become Igor P. Volk, the Hero of the Soviet Union, distinguished test-pilot of the USSR, pilot cosmonaut of the USSR.
He performed flights on all types of domestic jet-fighters, bomber aircrafts and air carriers; he became the first tester of full-scale analog of space vehicle “Buran”. In July, 1984, Igor Volk jointly with Vladimir Dzhanibekov and Svetlana Savitskaya performed flight as cosmonaut-researcher of the space ship “Soyuz T-12”. He flew to the space only one time, but he performed more than 9000 flights on planes.
In spite of the fact, that the most significant award – the star of the Hero of the Soviet Union was given to Igor Volk for the first spaceflight, he thought that tests of planes were his lifework. “I performed complex maneuvers and made a landing with engine out of work; I fell into a spin and ejected myself from a plane. Any work is oriented to get something new, to know and to determine something”, - the guest of the Synkletos pointed out.
Answering the questions, the legendary test-pilot told about the origination of acrobatic maneuver “Kobra”, which became the trade mark of Russian fighters. According to him, this event had occurred at tests of Su-27, when the machine could not recover from the spin in spite of all attempted efforts. “Under the instruction it is allowed to jump at the heights not lower than 4 km, but I was sitting. I don`t know why I turned off the stability augmentation system. When I recovered from the spin, I began to pull out of a dive; I pulled back on the stick hard, the aircraft reached over 90° angel of attack. In this case the aircraft wasn`t collapsed and returned to its original state”, - Igor Volk shared his memories, adding that it was not his merit, the aircraft did everything.
Remembering his flight to space, Igor Volk confirmed that 11 days that he had spent on the orbit had been a real vacation at the expense of the State. I enjoined weightlessness. I received the star of the Hero of the Soviet Union for that pleasure. I have never felt like a hero, I did what I loved”, - the guest of the Synkletos told.
The main aim of his flight was to check whether the pilot could run the plane after exposure to weightlessness and land “Buran” in manual mode. His experience of landing without the engine helped him to choose the right sequence of actions. Then experts made mathematical software based on his actions.
“We tested this program on an analogue of “Buran”, but before we worked at airborne simulators based on MiG-25 and Tu-154, which sometimes we had to pull out in manual mode when the automated mechanism refused to work”, - Igor Volk told.
At the end of the meeting, Denis V. Grashchenkov presented a book “Armors for Buran” to the guest, devoted to the development of materials for reusable space system “Energy-Buran”.