Aviation in Riga: the first steps (1908–1914)

Russian aviation made its first steps in several big cities of the Russian Empire, one of which was Riga. It was somewhere around 1908–1909 that the aeronautical student circles and aircraft-building shops began to appear in Riga under the influence of rapidly evolving aviation in France and Germany. In 1910, the Russo-Baltic Wagon Factory (RBWF) whose technical staff included Russian designers Ya. M. Gakkel and A. S. Kudashev began to manufacture one-engine French-licensed aircrafts. At the same time, Th. Kalep, the owner of the local engine factory began to design and build the aircraft engines. RBWF, however, soon moved its aircraft division to St. Petersburg while Kalep failed to secure any major defense contracts for his engines until he moved to Moscow in 1915. In the pre-war Riga, the engineers V. Forssman and F. Zander began to tackle the problems of flying. The former later designed the first multi-engined aircraft in Germany while the latter became one of the Soviet pioneers in spaceflight theory.


Recommended bibliographic description

, Aviation in Riga: the first steps (1908–1914), Voprosy Istorii Estestvoznaniia i Tekhniki [Studies in History of Science and Technology], , p.  662-684

    © Studies in the History of Science and Technology: Quarterly scientific journal of the Russian Academy of Sciences (2015)
    ISSN 0205-9606. Индекс 70143