Nizhny Novgorod Aircraft Building Plant
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Our history


Joint Stock Company "Nizhny Novgorod Aircraft building plant "Sokol" is one of the leading companies of airspace industry in Russia. Within the years 1932 through 2002 it produced 43557 aircraft. The company is a successor of Gorky aircraft building plant named after Sergo Ordzhonikidze originating from the date of October 21, 1929. On that day exactly the Labor and Defense Council of USSR passed a resolution to construct an aircraft building plant № 21 in Nizhny Novgorod.

Plant № 21 (which was given a name of Sergo Ordzhonikidze in 1936) was built within unprecedentedly short time (in 21 months) and on February 1, 1932 the plant was put in operation. As early as in August 1932 the first aircraft produced took off - fighter I-5, a biplane of mixed structure, designed by a team headed by an outstanding designer Nikolay Polykarpov. The plant became the first enterprise in aviation industry to specialize in manufacture of designated purpose aircraft, namely - fighters. Within 1932 to 1934 I-5 fighter was in series production, and starting from 1934 a new high speed fighter I-16 was started to be developed. The first prototypes of I-16 were tested by Valery Chkalov, Soviet Union Hero and chief-pilot of the plant within 1934 to 1938, a legendary pilot who became famous all over the world with non-stop flight from Moscow to USA through the North Pole.

I-16 had 22 versions and was the primary fighter of Soviet Air Force up to the beginning of 1942: it was fighting in Spanish sky and over Hasan lake and Halhin-Gol river. Soviet pilot were flying this aircraft during the initial period of II World War. In November 1941 in the plant there was structured a Chief Designer Department with test production subordinate to it. The Department was headed by the future Chief Designer Semyon Lavochkin. Under his guidance there were developed fighters LaGG-3 (in collaboration with Gudkov and Gorbunov), La-5, La-5FN, La-7, which were produced in Gorky aircraft building plant during the years of II World War (the plant supplied to the front 17691 aircraft: every forth fighter manufactured in the country).

The first La-5 successfully participated in Stalingrad battle and could equal to the basic Luftwaffe aircraft - FW-190. La-5FN in quantity was first tried in summer of 1943 in air fights on Kursk Duga: it exceeded German fighters in majority of parameters and was further acknowledged, along with La-7, one of the best fighters of the II World War. Exactly on the fighters designed by Lavochkin a famous pilot, thrice Soviet Union Hero Ivan Kozhedub brought down 63 fascist aircraft.

In 1948 - 1949 the plant were producing La-15 fighter - the first jet aircraft designed by Lavochkin Design Bureau.

The year of 1949 is the starting point of creative collaboration between the plant and Design Bureau of Artyom Mykoyan. From that time and till to-day the plant is world known as a producer of MiG fighters. The first aircraft of this family is MiG-15 jet aircraft designed by A. Mykoyan and M. Gurevich. It was serially produced in the plant from 1949 to 1952. In 1950-1952 the combat performances of this aircraft were clearly proved in Northern Korea sky. MiG-15 fighter was produced under license in Poland and Czechoslovakia.

In 1952-1954 the plant was producing Mig-17 fighter, and in 1955-1957 - MiG-17, the first soviet serial supersonic aircraft.

In 1959 the plant started serial production of a famous MiG-21, which became the most numerous supersonic fighter in the history of world aviation.

From 1969 to 1985 the plant was serially producing fighter-interceptor MiG-25 - the first fully welded aircraft in aviation history, with 80% of airframe structure made of high-strength steels and titanium. MiG-25, having established 29 world speed, climbing capacity and flight altitude records, not only defined further development of world aviation but also initiated new generation of combat aircraft: development and mastering of this aircraft gave rise to technical revolution in the company. Reconstruction carried out at the end of the 60-s made Gorky aircraft building plant one of the most high-tech enterprises of the industry.

Starting from 1979 the plant was serially producing a heavy long-range interceptor MiG-31 - logically sequential to MiG-25 and having no analogues in the world, the first home-made combat aircraft of the forth generation.

In 1984 there was successfully launched in production one of the best fighters of the present - MiG-29 UB fighter-trainer.

During 45 years of MiG family serial production the plant manufactured about 13500 combat aircraft; the most famous of them - MiG-21 and MiG-29 UB - were exported to more than 30 countries of the world.

In the 90-s the company effected a program of profound upgrade of MiG-21 fighters (modification MiG-21 BIS) into MiG-21-93, MiG-29 UB into MiG-29 UBT, and MiG-31, which allowed to significantly increase combat efficiency of these aircraft.

In 1996 Nizhny Novgorod aircraft building plant started a joint program with Yakovlev Design Bureau on development of a challenging aircraft YAK-130 intended for primary training of pilots as well as for training of flight personnel. Later on there was developed a combat-trainer YAK-130 capable to act as a multifunction tactical fighter. In April 2004 manufacture of the first combat-trainer YAK-130 was completed in Sokol and the aircraft in serial configuration made its first flight from the company's airfield.

Currently, apart from manufacture, modernization, testing, maintenance of military aircraft and delivery them to Russian Airforce and abroad, the priority activities for JSC NAZ Sokol are those related to civil products, in particular light aircraft and high-speed boats like turboprop multifunction aircraft M-101T "Sokol" (former "Gzhel") developed by Myasishev Design Bureau, multifunction amphibious aircraft "Accord-201", sea-going hydrofoil leisure boat "Sokol", ground-effect vehicle "Volga-2".

Sokol is actively participating in international cooperation in the civil aviation market being a manufacturer and supplier of aircraft components for the leading European aviation companies such as Aermacchi S.p.A. (Italy), Diamond Aircraft (Аustria), Walter (Czech Republic).

High-skilled personnel, employment of advanced technologies and unique equipment, Quality management system corresponding to modern international standards allow to solve tasks of practically any level of complexity providing for high quality of products.

Sokol is actively researching aviation market and establish business relations by participating in dedicated exhibitions and airspace shows held in various countries of the world. JSC NAZ Sokol is inviting Russian and foreign companies to cooperate for mutual benefit and ready to consider any proposals related to its major activities and international programs.

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