By Alexander F. Boyd
The tale of the Soviet Air strength from the top of the 1st global conflict to the mid 1970's. Personalities, making plans, plane, operations: all are addressed.
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Extra info for The Soviet Air Force since 1918
The prototype flew in 1929 and production at GAZ No. 22 was begun two years later. Forty-five were built at Fili before production was farmed out to smaller factories including GAZ No. 31, Taganrog, where a dutiful quota of floatplane versions was manufactured in accordance with the policy of providing floatplane counterparts of Red Air Force machines for naval air duties. Four hundred ANT-7 aircraft were supplied as the R-6 until 1936 and, when obsolete as a military aircraft, remaining examples, like the ANT-4, were handed down to GVF.
The Gatchina Military Flying School outside Petrograd, the oldest of its kind in Russia, was taken over by the All-Russian Air Board in February 1918 together with its advanced flying section at Alatyr. Both parts of the school were promptly evacuated, the Gatchina school to Yegor' evsk, south-west of Moscow, and the advanced flying section to Zaraisk. September 1920 saw both parts of the school reunited at Zaraisk as the First Air Force Flying School, leaving only the theoretical department behind as the foundation for the Yegor'evsk Aeronautical Technical College.
Rozengol'ts 5 The Red Air Fleet in the immediate post-Civil War period was reduced to some 300 aircraft, the majority unserviceable and the rest obsolete. No new machines were forthcoming to replace them due to the neglect and damage suffered by the aircraft industry over the previous three years. In 1914 Russia had entered the First World War with five airframe and two aeroengine factories and a workforce of just over 2,100 men; by 1917 she possessed eleven airframe, five aeroengine and two propeller factories with a workforce that had increased almost fivefold.