Imperial Russian Air Force

Imperial Russian Air Force

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Imperial Russian Air Force

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The Imperial Russian Air Force (Императорскiй военно-воздушный флотъ, Emperor's Military Air Fleet) existed in the Russian Empire between 1910 and 1917.

The origins of Russian aviation go back to theoretical projects of the 1880s by pioneer Russian scientists such as Nikolai Kibalchich and Alexander Mozhaysky.During the 1890s aviation innovation was further advanced by Konstantin Tsiolkovsky.

In 1904 Nikolai Zhukovsky established the world's first Aerodynamic Institute in Kachino near Moscow.

In 1910, the Imperial Russian Army purchased a number of French planes and began training the first military pilots.The history of military aircraft in Imperial Russia is closely associated with the name of Igor Sikorsky .

In 1913 Sikorsky built the first four-engine biplane, the Russky Vityaz, and his famous bomber aircraft, the Ilya Muromets.

In the same year Dmitry Grigorovich built a number of “flying boats” for the Imperial Russian Navy.

In 1914 Russian aviators conducted the first ever flights in the Arctic looking for the lost expedition of polar explorer Georgy Sedov.

At the beginning of World War I, Russia had an air force second only to France, although a significant part of the Imperial Russian Air Force used outdated French aircraft. Initially, Russians used aviation only for reconnaissance and coordination of artillery fire, but in December 1914 a squadron of Ilya Muromets bombers was formed and used against the German and Austro-Hungarian...
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