Analysis of prerequisites and conditions for the foundation of an aircraft engine enterprise in Ukraine
World War I proved air forces to be a critical driver for warfare outcomes. Mastery of the latest technology appeared to be crucial to the battle’s success. The combat capabilities of airplanes improved manifold due to the increased power of aircraft engines, thus initiating a new era in aeronautics. By July 1917, the aviation of the Russian Empire included 91 air squadrons and 5 units of heavy multi-engine aircraft known as Ilya Muromets. Several enterprises, including the town of Aleksandrovsk, were manufacturing engines for these planes. The origin of engine production in Aleksandrovsk was associated with the establishment of a branch of Petrograd Joint Stock Company of Electromechanical Structures called Deka. The article aims at analyzing the prerequisites and conditions for the foundation of an aircraft engine enterprise in Ukraine. While drafting the article, the authors relied on chronological, historiographical, and other historical methods of research, which have been widely used both in considering the contribution and influence of certain individuals and reviewing the stages of creation and development of separate enterprises, as well as specific industries. Based on the retrospective analysis, the prerequisites and conditions of the foundation of the aircraft engine enterprise in Aleksandrovsk, Ukraine, were considered. There was a severe gap between the Russian Empire and European countries in the development pace of the aviation industry during World War I. This prompted the Russian Empire to raise foreign capital, as well as attract technologies and specialists to develop aircraft engineering and other industries. By 1917, the plant had gained the status of Russia’s largest engine-building enterprise in terms of building area and one of the best in equipment. It is evident that the beginning of aircraft engine production in Aleksandrovsk relates to the establishment of a branch of Petrograd Joint Stock Company of Electromechanical Structures and the plant’s purchase from the Moznaim brothers.
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