Polikarpov Design Bureau

Nikolai Nikolaevich Polikarpov (1892-1944) of Giorgievsk began designing aircraft during World War I under Igor Sikorski.  He designed several aircraft for other manufacturers in the 1920s and in 1938 founded his own design bureau, although within a year, it was removed from his control and merged into the Mikoyan-Gurevich bureau.  Like many Soviet aircraft designers under Stalin, his life and freedom literally hinged on the success of his design, and for a time he awaited execution under a death sentence from the failure of one of his biplane fighter prototypes.  Despite consistently inhumane treatment by the Soviet political system, Polikarpov’s name has been immortalized through its association with the greatest Soviet aircraft of the 1930s.