November 15 in Russian history


Yemelyan Pugachev was brought to Moscow in the iron cage. The leader of one of the most successful rebellions of Russian peasants was caught by his own mates on September 19 (September 8 Old Style) 1774 near river Bolshoy Uzén. The traitors took him to town Yaitsky Gorodók. Pugachev attempted to escape twice, but did not succeed. On September 25 he was given away to the soldiers. On September 28 he was interrogated personally by Alexander Suvorov, who was ordered to put an end to the rebellion after he helped Russia to win the first Russo-Turkish war. An iron cage was made to transport the rebel to Simbirsk (modern Ulyanovsk), so tight that the he couldn't straighten up. In Simbirsk Pugachev was tortured and he slandered himself. Later, in Moscow, Pugachev and some of his friends, Perfilyev, Shigayev, Podurov and Tornov, were sentenced to death. He was to be quartered, decapitated and his remains were to be burned. The empress Catherine secretly ordered the executor to decapitate Pugachev and other rebels before the quartering to decrease their suffering.


Captain Alexander Mozhaisky is granted the five-year "privilege" (patent) for an aircraft.

Mozhaisky was born in 1825. He was a naval officer and participated in the travel of frigate Diana to Japan in 1853-1855 and made the first description of the Aral Sea and river Amu-Darya in 1858. He began working on the heavier-than-air flying machine in 1876, but the first ideas were developed was early as in 1855, when Mozhaysky began to study the flight of birds and kites. In 1872 he deduced a formula of proportion between the rising force and the air drag for different attack angles, 11 years earlier than Otto von Lilienthal. In 1876 he built a large kite and flew on it. In the same year he built a flying model of the airplane, powered by a clock spring. The model carried 1 kilogram of cargo and flew with 5 m/sec speed.

In 1882, the airplane was ready. It was powered by a 10 horsepower steam engine, had a boat-fuselage, suitable for water-landing, three propellers and the steering system. It was the first flying machine with a fuselage. Mozhaisky also prepared a set of avionics devices: compass, speedometer, altimeter and the bombsight.

During the test, the airplane hopped into the air, but the wing was damaged during the take-off and after 20-30 meters it landed safely. Mozhaisky concluded that the power of the engine was not enough and decided to replace it with a more powerful model. He ordered two 15-kwt engines at the Obukhovo mechanical plant, but unfortunately, he died in 1890.

The exact plans of the airplane were lost, but the drafts found in the XX century, made it possible to reconstruct the machine. In 1979-1981, the specialists from TsAGI institute built a model of the Mozhaisky airplane, tested it and concluded that with a better engine, it could have flown.

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