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Vladimir Ilyushin: Wikis

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Lieutenant General Vladimir Sergeyevich Ilyushin (Russian: Владимир Сергеевич Илюшин) (born 31 March 1927) is a son of aircraft designer Sergei Ilyushin and a noted test pilot in the Soviet Union.[1] He spent most of his career as a test pilot for the Sukhoi OKB. In 1961, Ilyushin was the subject of spurious rumors that he, rather than Yuri Gagarin, was the first cosmonaut in space; according to the conspiracy theory, his mission had gone badly, and the Soviet Union had covered it up.[2]

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Spaceflight rumor

Two days before Gagarin's launch on April 12, 1961, Dennis Ogden wrote in the Western Communist newspaper the Daily Worker that the Soviet Union's announcement that Ilyushin had had a bad car crash was really a cover story for an April 7, 1961 orbital spaceflight gone bad.[2] A similarly spurious story was told by French broadcaster Eduard Bobrovsky, but his version had the launch occurring in March, resulting in Ilyushin slipping into a coma.[2] NORAD tracking stations, however, had no record of any such launch.[2] Later that year, US News and World Report transmitted the rumor by claiming that Gagarin had never flown and was merely a stand-in for the sickened Ilyushin.. The 1999 film The Cosmonaut Cover-Up takes the position that Ilyushin was the first man in space and discusses the alleged cover-up in detail.[3]

According to Mark Wade, editor of the well known website Encyclopedia Astronautica, "The entire early history of the Soviet manned space program has been declassified and we have piles of memoirs of cosmonauts, engineers, etc who participated. We know who was in the original cosmonaut team, who never flew, was dismissed, or was killed in ground tests. Ilyushin is not one of them."[4]

Career as test pilot

Ilyushin had a prominent career as a test pilot and lieutenant general in the Soviet Air Force.

See also

References

External links

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