Vladimir Konstantinovich Kokkinaki – honored test-pilot of the USSR55 years ago, on the 17th of February, the test-pilot of Ilyushin Design Bureau, Vladimir Konstantinovich Kokkinaki, was bestowed a title of the Honored test-pilot of the USSR. Vladimir Kokkinaki (12.06.1904, Novorossiysk – 07.01.1985, Moscow) was a test-pilot, Major-general of Aviation (1943), twice Hero of the Soviet Union (1938, 1957), Laureate of the Lenin Prize (1960).
In 1925 V.Kokkinaki was draught to the Red Army. In 1928 he graduated from the Leningrad Military-Theoretical School of the Red Air Force, and in 1930 – the Borisoglebsk pilot school. He served in combatant forces of the Red Air Force.
In 1932-35 he served as a test-pilot of Scientific-Research Institute of the Air Force. He carried out the official testings of I-16 and DI-4 fighter aircraft, participated in the official testings of I-15 fighter aircraft.
In the period 1935 – 1964 he served as a chief test-pilot of the Ilyushin Design Bureau. He tested IL-2, IL-10 attack aircrafts, DB-3, IL-4, IL-22, IL-28, IL-30, IL-46, IL-54 fighter aircraft, IL-12, IL-14, IL-18, IL-62 passenger aircraft and their modifications.
He was the first in the country to perform the Nesterov Loop with a twin-engine aircraft, a TsKB-26. In 1938 with A.M.Bryandinsky as his navigator he flew from Moscow to Spassk-Dalny in the Soviet Far East, covering a distance of 7 580 km on board a TsKB-30. On board TsKB-30 named “Moskva” with Mikhail Kh. Gordienko as co-pilot he made a non-stop flight Moscow- Novgorod - Helsinki -Trondheim - Iceland - Cape Farewell - Miscou Island in the USA to the distance of 6 516 km.
During the Great Patriotic War he served as a test-pilot and as head of the Main Inspectorate of the People's Commissariat for the Aircraft Industry and as the head of its flight-test service.
He tested more than 70 types of IL aircraft. He set 20 world aviation records: in 1936-37 – 7 speed and weight lifting records on board of TsKB-26, in 1958-60 – 13 speed and weight lifting records on board of IL-18.
From 1961 he served as chairman of the USSR Aviation Sport Federation, and in 1967-68, as the president of the Federation.
After finishing his pilot career he continued to work for Ilyushin Design Bureau as a methods engineer, and from 1968 – as a responsible representative of the General Designer of Development flight complex.
He was awarded with six Lenin Prizes (1936, 1938, 1939, 1945, 1951, 1984), Order of October Revolution (1974), tree Orders of the Red Banner (1944, 1945, 1957), two Order of the Patriotic War (1944, 1947), four Orders of the Red Star (1939, 1941, 1944, 1969), medals for war and labour service and foreign medals - FAI Gold Air Medal (1965) and Wind Rose necklace with diamonds.
Streets of cities and towns of Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan has been named after him, - in Moscow, Rostov-on-Don, Novokuznetsk, Donskoy, Almaty, Makeevka, Vladimir-Volynsky, Brovary, Slavyansk.
An “Aeroflot” (IL-96), “Volga-Dnepr” (IL-96TD-90VD) and Yak-42 of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russian Federation) were named in his honour,
A bronze bust was erected in his home city of Novorossiysk and the name of Vladimir Kokkinaki was given to a school No 18.