Moscow: tipo-lit. t-va I.N. Kushnerev i K°, 1914. Item #1104
7 pp., 4 ill. 28x19.5 cm. In original publisher’s wrappers. Soiling of the wrappers, loss of the upper left piece of the front wrapper, loss of the pieces of the spine, pencil markings on the wrappers, several pages detached. Otherwise a good internally clean copy.
First edition. AN EXTREMELY RARE PRE-REVOLUTIONARY EDITION DEDICATED TO THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FIRST AERODYNAMIC INSTITUTE IN EUROPE.
Interest in the study of aerodynamics in the Russian Empire emerged in the 18th century, when the members of the Russian Academy of Science Leonhard Euler (1707-1783) and Daniel Bernoulli (1700-1782) developed the basic principle of the lift. In the following centuries, Russian aerodynamics experienced a leap forward, mainly due to the contribution of the Father of Russian Aviation Nikolay Zhukovsky (1833-1895) and the scientist Dimitri Riabouchinsky (1882-1962).
In 1904, Riabouchinsky, with the financial aid of Zhukovsky, established the first Aerodynamic Institute in Europe. At different times, the scientific hub served as the meeting point of such noted Russian scientists as: Vasiliy Kuznetsov (1866-1938), Sergey Nezhdanovskiy (1850-1940), Nikolay Zhukovsky, etc. The last two left the Institute over the organizational disagreement with its founder in the early years. Experimenting with both aero and hydrodynamics, Riabouchinsky developed general laws of airscrew functioning, explained phenomena of the autorotation of the lamella, studied the flow pressure on the different models of the airplane wings, etc. In the hydrodynamic lab founded on the river Pikhorka, the scientist studied fluid viscosity, carried out wind tunnel tests on a single ellipsoid, etc. The results of the theoretical and experimental investigations were published in the Bulletins of the Aerodynamic Institute, with the first five (1906, 1909, 1909, 1912, 1914) being printed in Russia and the last one in France (1920).
Written by Riabouchinsky himself, this booklet was issued in view of the tenth anniversary of the Aerodynamic Institute of Kuchino in March, 1914. The edition features a brief history of the scientific hub and provides a vivid panorama of the Institute activity during the decade. Importantly, the author included the problem of spaceflight as part of his Institute’s research: After the conquest of air spaces, another conquest, more difficult and of higher importance is offered to the imagination of man, the conquest of interplanetary spaces. The booklet features 4 extremely rare photographs depicting the main building of the Institute, general view of the big hall, hydrodynamic lab, and its internal view.
Four years after the publication of this edition, Riabouchinsky became the target of the Bolsheviks who accused him in the popularization of the capitalist system. Following the unsuccessful attempts to normalize the relationship with the party, Riabouchinsky left Russia and permanently settled in France in 1918. In the Soviet Union, the very mention of his work was, for all practical purposes, prohibited, and only in the 1990s an extensive literature on Riabouchinsky begin to appear in Russia.
The Institute of Aerodynamics existed under its original name until 1921. It was later renamed to The Moscow Institute of Space Physics and soon was merged with the newly established State Research Institute of Geophysics that existed until 1930.
No copies found in Worldcat.