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Training of pilots in military schools of Russia at the beginning of the XX century

f. D. Timofeev


Work is presented by department of the Russian history. The research supervisor - the doctor of historical sciences, professor A.V. Smolin

In article the training problems for the Russian military aircraft are considered (June, 1910 - October, 1917): dynamics of change of structure of aviation military schools, comparative characteristic of activity of aviation higher education institutions during the pre-war period and in the years of World War I.

The article considers the problems of staff training for Russian military aviation (June 1910-October 1917) including the dynamics in changes of staff of aviation military education institutions as well as comparative characterization of aviation military schools& activity before and during World War I.

Creation of aviation military schools (further higher education institutions) in Russia began since 1910. At the Officer Aeronautic School (OAS) the Temporary aviation department for training of officers-pilots was founded on June 3, 1910. Existence of the test airfield platform of the The First Russian Association of Aeronautics (FRAA) in Gatchina predetermined the new address OVS. In May, 1911 the school under command of the major general A.M. Kovanko was relocated from St. Petersburg to Gatchina. For completion of Aviation department of OVS by necessary constant structure in March, 1910. The Defense Ministry seconded to France 7 officers for training in flights at planes and 6 lower ranks for preparation in mechanics. On September 1, 1910 in Temporary aviation department the otovka of flight military shots began OVS podt. Peopi an apization of Temporary aviation department in Constant took place on May 23, 1912 ь& One more military aviation educational institution the Sevastopol officer school of aircraft - is based on November 21, 1910 by the grand duke Alexander Mikhaylovich. It was in Sevastopol until the end of 1911 while for it the aviagorodok and airfield was under construction

near the city, in the settlement of Kacha, on the bank of the river of the same name where the school was translated on December 17, 1911. In the summer of 1911 courses of aeronauts at the St. Petersburg polytechnical institute (further PPI) reorganized into military school Theoretical officer vozdukhoplava-telyiy courses at shipbuilding faculty of PPI. Thus, weight military and aviation educational institutions in pre-war Russia were presented only by officer schools. Both aviation, and aeronautic educational institutions treated this type of schools. By the beginning of World War I in the country four military schools of aeronautics functioned: two in Gatchina and on one in St. Petersburg and in Sevastopol.

Officers could undergo retraining on flight specialization and at civil educational institutions. At the beginning of the 20th century in the Russian Empire the ability to steer the aircraft a profession was not considered. It was studied as now study ability up-ravlyat the car. To learn to fly, citizens (including officers) could complete a course in any civil aero club or flying school. Officers of any type of military forces, obu-

being hoped in civil flying schools, the service was not interrupted and after their termination remained in the parts. By July, 1914 treated civil flying schools: Gatchina school of aircraft of PRTV "Gamayun" and school of aircraft of the Imperial All-Russian Aero Club (IARAC), School of aircraft at the Moscow society of aeronauts, the Odessa school of aircraft of A. Anatr, flying school of departments of IVAK and provincial societies 4


Their youth was characteristic of officer schools of an aviation profile, unlike other military schools. Originally training of future Russian pilots was based on application of experience of the French school of training of pilots. It placed the main emphasis a pas development by the beginning pilots of the practical flight program, but not on concrete terms of training. So, the first three graduates of domestic school of Temporary aviation department at OVS in Gatchina - were trained on pilots-instructors in 5 months (from May to October, 1910). Special set of officers of technical specialties selected in March, 1911 finished study in May of the same, i.e. in 2.5 months. Having begun training of the first officers-volunteers on November 14, 1910, the Sevastopol military aviation school let out pilots on October 26, 1911. Thus, study at residents of Sevastopol continued 11.5 months. Allowed officers to graduate Officer Aeronautic School se in 7 months.

Civil private flying schools and aero clubs (in Moscow, Odessa, Kiev, Riga, Kharkiv and Gatchina) trained pilots-pilots in 2 months. It is necessary to revenge that training terms at private schools of civilians and representatives of officers were equal among themselves. The officers who graduated from private flying schools in aircraft did not remain: such type of military forces was not created by then, respectively, requirement yet in

a certain quantity of officers-avia-yurov was not established.

Attempt to order training of pilots undertook the Head engineering department which on May 11, 1911 utver-; git uniform for all aviation schools military and club "Rules for flight on the airplane". They with minor changes acted till 1914. According to rules, a course the pilot ov included strictly established knowledge and abilities, and this already by itself defined minimum necessary time of study. In civil aero clubs and private schools the training of pilots from the persons who had secondary vocational and higher education (including officers) continued 4 months. By 1913 in Officer Aeronautic School, the Sevastopol military aviation school and in the Gatchina aviation department the term of training of officers was 11 months. For the officers who graduated from earlier private flying schools, training in military aviation educational institutions was carried out 3.5 months before passing an examination on a rank of the military pilot. It is remarkable that in military flying school and aviadepartment within 4 months also the lower ranks on courses of mechanics had training. Extremely seldom the most capable and bright of them were allowed to training on pilots which continued within 8 months. After passing an examination of a pas a rank of the military pilot the lower ranks continued service in a military rank of the private.

Officer Aeronautic School in Gatchina annually let out 16-20 officers-aeronauts. The aviation office at this school had the state of annual set of 30 people. At the Sevastopol officer school of aircraft about 35 officers could study at the same time. Voluntary training of officers in private civil aero clubs, aviation schools, societies of aeronautics and abroad (for example, in France) allowed to have about 300 pilots by the beginning of World War I (officers and nizh-

them ranks), trained by the Defense Ministry. About a half of them had training on own initiative at civil aero clubs. By the beginning of war completion of the park of military and sea aircraft by staff completely завершилось". Not numerous volume of preparation of the Russian aviation schools reflected underestimation by military authorities of the empire of high value of aircraft in the forthcoming war.

Inclusion in officer aviation higher education institutions in pre-war time was carried out on a voluntary basis and did not impose legislatively established requirements to candidates. The "Provision on service of aircraft and the communication service" which was published on the eve of war concretized requirements to officers at selection dtya the directions in aviation educational institutions. For study it was necessary to have the voluntary consent of the candidate for transfer. It also should have served not less than 2 years in officer positions and to have a rank not above the first lieutenant (dtya naval officers) or the shtabs-captain, the good condition of health, age is not more senior than 40 years. the lack of other obstacles able to prevent service on aircraft. Candidate officers dtya receipt in any officer schools (general, special, sea) did not take entrance examinations. Positive certifications from the administration and the direction for study testified to their readiness for receipt. Receipt in officer aviation higher education institutions did not require also existence of certification with the direction.

By the beginning of 1914 in all three aviation higher education institutions (including Officer Aeronautic School) the structure of educational process caused by the sliding schedule of enrollment of pupils with frequency in 2-2.5 months was defined. This restriction was caused by the small park of educational aircraft at schools. Within 11 months everyone uchebnyyden included as theoretical, and

practical training. Upon termination of a course the graduates took the general examination for the right of independent operation of the aircraft. Study on Officer theoretical courses at PPI lasted 2 semester corresponding to an operating schedule of institute. Each semester came to an end with examination from which the second examination was final.

The aviation and aeronautic officers (including, and in aviation and aeronautic schools) earned the strengthened salary already because of a difficult sort of service. For example, if the main regular salary of the shtabs-captain made 780 rubles annual, then on the strengthened salary he received 948 rubles. Besides, since July, 1912 to pilots additional monetary pay was established: dtya pilots officers of 200 rubles a month, and for pilots-subensigns and legchikov-un ter officers on 75 rubles in месяц".

Officers-pilots prepared according to the difficult program. A theoretical part included the following disciplines: tactics and use of airplanes in military science, development of technology of aircraft, theoretical data on aircraft, an equipment and service of airplanes, internal combustion engines (automobile, aviation), cars, materials science and resistance of materials, radiotelegraphy, meteorology and the photo. A practical training was given in the scheme: flights with the instructor - a taxiing on airfield independent flights. The general raid of each pilot made for 9 hours 9

in a month.

If the termination by officers of civil aviation frequent schools did not oblige graduates of kdalneyshy aviation activity, then education in military aviation higher education institutions assumed the subsequent service in aviation and aeronautic teams and groups as aviation officers-intelligence agents. The termination of higher education institutions of an aviation profile directly did not influence

on career of graduates, but the small number of the prepared shots did perspective career advance; shya officer-pilot. In 1911 by the special decree Nicholas II approved a rank "Military Pilot of the Russian Empire", and all pupils of aviation higher education institutions began to receive from a rank on release.

In the conditions of absence of flying schools for training of sea pilots the officers came to sea aircraft after 4 months of training at Theoretical courses at the St. Petersburg polytechnical institute of Peter the Great and 4 months of practical flights on the basis of the Sevastopol school of aircraft of the Department of the Air Fleet (DAF). In end of a course future sea pilots needed to pass the corresponding examination of a pas aviastations in the Rowing port of St. Petersburg or in Libava. After eight months of training in the officer the rank sea летчика" was given;.

From the beginning of World War I quantity and the nature of activity of aviation military schools underwent changes. Having entered war practically with four military aviation educational institutions, the Russian army from first months of war began to lack aviation officer shots. Up to the end 1914 passed to programs of wartime and all aviation institutions changed in this regard the names. The aviation department in Gatchina in July, 1914 was allocated in independent educational institution, having become the Gatchina military aviation school. It considerably extended for years of war: in November, 1914 se united with flying school

PRTV "Gamayun", and at the beginning of 1915 with them


also IVAK flying school merged. Officer Aeronautic School in December, 1914 passed to the accelerated training of military aeronauts, having changed the name to Short-term officer aeronautic courses on which officers from military units of all types of military forces were accepted. Officer school in Kacha in ofitsi-

alny documents of wartime began to be called as the Sevastopol military aviation school. The school of aircraft of the Moscow society of aeronautics located on the Hodynsky field from the beginning of war was not militarized, but provided training of pilots in the program of the Defense Ministry. In February, 1915. The school of aircraft of MOB was completely militarized, and it began to be called as the Moscow military aviation school specializing in training of fighter pilots. In October, 1914 at the initiative of professor N.E. Zhukovsky the student aeronautic circle of Imperial Moscow technical school (And MTU) was transformed to Theoretical courses of aircraft at IMTU. The Moscow courses militarized in July, 1916,

having renamed them into Officer teoretiche-


sky courses of aircraft at IMTU. Purpose of courses was theoretical and practical preparation for army of pilots and mechanics. Volnoopredelyayushchiyesya, not having the higher education, consistently studied at first on the Moscow courses, and then - at the Moscow school

14 г>

aircraft. Along with training of military pilots there was a need for training of pilots observers. At the end of 1915 sharply there was a question of replenishment of aircraft by the experts familiar with the aerophotography and capable to adjust fire of artillery (i.e. having artilteriysky education). Such situation demanded to create special school for reeducation of artillery officers in pilots observers. On December 23, 1915 militarized school of aircraft of the Kiev aero club and there began work as military school the Kiev school of pilots observers. Most of variable structure opened in September, 1916. The Vinnytsia military aviation school of pilots of bombing aircraft the Cossack officers made. The place of its dislocation coincided with basing of aviagroup of the bombers "Ilya Muromets" that in a considerable ste-

a penalty fee was facilitated by acquisition of practical fighting skills by future pilots. And at last, in October, 1916 t. in Tiflis the Caucasian military aviation school for training of pilots of overland aircraft transformed from pre-war flying school of the Caucasian aero club opened. After the February revolution, in April, 1917, created new military aviation school in Feodosiya. The overland aircraft felt the sharp need for increase in fighting qualification of experienced pilots for what it was required to create special educational institution. The military authorities made the decision on opening of the Higher military aviation school in Yevpatoriya in November, 1916. In it had to take a course of aerobatics and be improved fighter pilots. But it did not open due to the lack of a necessary equipment. In August, 1917 to Yevpatoriya evacuated the Kiev school of pilots observers & ■■.

During the war army officers-pilots prepared as at military aviation schools, and directly in aviadivisions, i.e. in military units of aircraft. Training of officers was carried out still within 3 months. With it is begun wars and to the middle of 1915 civilians with education and students volnoopredelyayushchikhsya studied at the rights in military flying schools within 7.5 8 months and, having passed examination for qualification of the military pilot, were issued in a rank the ensign. In the second half of 1915 and to the middle of 1916 all civilians who were trained within 7.5-8 months at military aviation schools and sea schools of aircraft though were entitled the military pilot, but vypuskatis in a military rank the private. Officer schools of overland aircraft (Gatchina, Sevastopol, Feodosiya, Moscow) and also the Gatchina and Moscow aeronautic courses continued to prepare pilots in former volumes of 30-35 people in set. The largest aviashko-

by the beginning of 1917 the Caucasian school in Tiflis where about 80 people in set at the same time studied became ly. The smallest of all military flying schools was the Vinnytsia school at which the state was estimated in 20 pupils. Excess of number of pilots in releases was explained only by existence in schools supernumerary. Already from 1915 t. the front the shortcoming of pilots and aeronauts was constantly felt as a pas. At the general requirement of annual preparation in 1000 people all aviation schools could train no more than 500 people. Therefore since 1916 the preparation and improvement of flight skill of pilots in France (at two schools) and in England was resumed. In total abroad these schools trained more than 250 Russian pilots.

The Russian military fleet began war, without having any sea aviation educational institution. Before emergence of officer schools of sea aircraft the process of training of sea pilots was guided by training of flight personnel for army aircraft and took place in military aviation schools in the same terms. Sea pilots already in parts of the fleet studied up. Development of sea aircraft pushed military authorities of Russia to conversion in September, 1914. Officer theoretical courses of aircraft at the Petrograd polytechnical institute in Officer theoretical courses of sea aircraft at PPI *. Unlike the Moscow theoretical courses, future sea pilots studied at the Petrograd officer courses. To the middle of 1915 at last the decision on creation of specialized military schools for training of pilots of sea aircraft was made. The Pefogradsky officer school of sea aircraft of OVF opened on the Gutuyevsky island on August 10, 1915. It, in fact, also became the first aviation and sea military school. At the beginning of the log of 1917 school of a peredislotsirovata to Oranienbaum with assignment of the name "Oranienbaum School of Sea Aircraft". In October, 1915 in Sevastopol voye-

Training of pilots in military schools of Russia at the beginning of the 20th century

nizirovat the former school of pilots of the Sevastopol aero club which became the Sevastopol officer school of sea aircraft and was at the place of the former dislocation of the Sevastopol military aviation school. Need ss creations was caused by a possibility of uninterrupted educational process as the water area of the Black Sea did not freeze in the winter. Adverse climatic conditions of the area of location of the Petrograd officer school of sea aircraft and the seasonality connected with it in use of seaplanes led to the decision to open office of this school of a pas the Caspian Sea, in Baku. On November 22, 1915 t. there transferred a part constant structure and material property of the Petrograd school. At the end of April, 1916. The Baku office of Pegrogradsky school of sea aircraft was closed, having resumed the work only in October of the same year. Further the southern branch received the independent status and began to be called as the Baku officer school of sea aircraft. In June, 1916 militarized also the Odessa private aviation school of A.A. Anatr, having subordinated to its Management of the military air fleet. The banker A.A. Anatra financed reorganization of the school in the Odessa officer school of sea aircraft. In Georgia in Batumi in November, 1916 one more small school of sea aircraft opened. On the fleet in September, 1916 there were the Sea aeronautic courses of wartime opened in Sevastopol. By the beginning of summer of 1917. The sea General Staff began to draw persistently the attention of Management of the military air fleet to need of supply of sea aircraft with fighters. Succession of events in sea war, first of all on Baltic sea ■ the battlefield, demanded existence in the structure of sea aircraft of the fleet of the aircraft intended directly for conducting maneuverable air fight. For training of sea fighter pilots became

extremely necessary it is urgent to create school. The krasnoselsky sea school of aerobatics and air fight which started training of fighter pilots for sea aircraft conducted the


chronology since June, 1917

The schools of sea aircraft which were born in the middle of 1915 had two teams in the organizational structure: airfield and educational. The staff ratio in airfield and educational teams looked as 4:1. Even at small officer schools of sea aircraft the number .lyudy in airfield teams was 120-160 officers and the lower ranks. For example, on 40 people who were at the same time trained in the Baku OSMA, the constant structure of school was estimated in 158 people. Also military 22 had the similar organizational device

aviation schools.

Since July 28, 1915 when opening of the Petrograd officer school of sea aircraft took place, and then and opening of other schools of sea aircraft, sea pilots had training within 4 months in the educational aviation institutions officer schools of sea aircraft. Also the term of training at the Sevastopol sea aeronautic courses of wartime was four-months. It should be noted that the 4-month term of training in higher education institutions of sea aircraft was provided only for officers. Volnoopredelyayushchiyesya studied at the same schools during 8-month term and were issued: having the higher education ensigns, and without the higher education - privates. At the same schools also the lower chips studied, acquiring profession of the mechanic-mechanic within 6 months. As sea pilots to the middle of 1916 the lower ranks were not preparing. The lower ranks allowed in 1916 to training in sea aircraft on a rank of the sea pilot had special situation. A big role the first official document of domestic sea aircraft "Played the provision on service of aircraft in it in sluzh-

be communications" in which among others questions of training for aircraft of the fleet were considered. The document also defined that preparation of the lower ranks for service as aviation experts is carried out on the fleet at one of stations of the 1st category in each air area. "The period of training of the lower ranks should not exceed one year then passed examination in the special program in the commission appointed by the order of the commander of naval forces are made in aviation corporals on the opening vacancies: having already when training a rank of the corporal are renamed in aviation corporals", - one of points uka-said

2. And *

zonal situation. Many lower ranks which graduated from aviation schools later for services in battle made in ensigns. During war there was a way, typical for the lower ranks, in pilots: at first service in air units privates or corporals as mechanics, further the termination at schools of 4-month courses of aviation mechanics and after - passing at school of a 8-12-month course on the pilot & #34;. Officer schools of sea aircraft of a bpa are designed on average for 20 people everyone, but in the conditions of war trained 27 - 35 people in set. Sea aeronautic courses of wartime in Sevastopol were also prepared to 30 people at the same time. Assignment of qualification of the sea pilot turned out to be consequence of the termination of the specialized sea aviation higher education institutions created in 1915-1917.

So, by November, 1917 in the system of aviation military schools 17 flying schools of pilots from which 8 treated educational institutions functioned

sea aircraft. Absolutely at all officer aviation schools together with officers increased the skill and the lower ranks. As of July, 1917 in the Russian overland aircraft 775 military pilots served (from them 254 lower ranks). From them in aviation groups of field army 645 pilots were registered (including 234 lower ranks). Sea pilots at the same time there were 133 cheloveka. Thus, the number of military flying schools for years of war in comparison with 1914 increased almost by 8 times, essentially new sort of forces - sea aircraft was created. Training of pilots in wartime allowed them not only to steer the aircraft in air, on and to be at war on them. Having begun with development of experience of the French aviation school, for years of war the Russian military aviation school which entered unprecedented feats, innovative methods of aerobatics and air fight in the chronicle of world history of military aircraft was created.

During the war when training terms at officer schools of aircraft were reduced, the word length of qualification release peaks was abolished. To the persons who had education, the termination of military aviation schools of wartime gave assignment of a military rank "ensign". Thus, aviation schools in the conditions of war partly combined in themselves functions of educational institutions of two educational levels: officer schools and military colleges. Coincidence on time of origin of aircraft in Russia with participation of the empire in World War I for many next years predetermined the military acceptance in functioning of all domestic aircraft in general.

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