|-Antonov is no more.|
|-Buran is now a museum.|
|-New pictures of the blogger Ralph Mirebs.|
|-Transport of the OK-TVA shuttle to the VDNKh park.|
|-Dismantling of the OK-TVA shuttle.|
Why did you decided to become a test pilot ?
I did not really try to become a test pilot, it was made by chance. In the 50s I didn't knew that there was "a school of test pilots " or " the Flight Research Institute " [LITs - note of the translator], in this time I was in the armed forces in the division of Baku's air defence. One day a group of the test pilots came to the base, they participated in the tries of Mig-21 in conditions of hot temperatures in Turkmenia [name of a former Republic of the USSR - note of the translator]. I then met the instructor of this test pilots' school - Michail Agafonov. It is him who spoke me about this school and whom then it was possible to enter to " the Flight Research Institute " to become a test pilot. Here is how the idea came to me.
What did you prefered: flight in plane or in space ?
Of course, it is more interesting to fly on planes. Although to go to space is an extraordinary, exceptional and very cognitive event, but we cannot compare it with the pleasure and the impression that we have to pilot a plane.
What impressions do you have to see the Buran in a museum, after all these years ?
I have contradictory feelings. Because on one hand I see that the Germans repaired, cleaned, restored, and placed it on a marble ground and we can say that this plane had a big luck. But on the other hand, naturally, I regret that it is not installed where it was tested. But today nobody worries anymore about our air industry in our country. If it had remained here it would have become a scrap heap, and it would be worse.
Do you think that Russia will develop a new space shuttle ?
It seems to me that it is impossible to create a new space shuttle in Russia. I do not know if the president Medvedev is more experimented in this domain, however the air industry decline more and more. We don't have much time left to save it. And if the air industry die out, the space industry will follow soon. But it is not as dramatic as it is because the market for space tourism develops, for those who like money. However the technological level decrease in a catastrophic way in our country.
This year is the anniversary of the 40 years of the Apollo 11 mission, what did you do during that night of July 20, 1969 ?
I don't remember what I was doing during this night. But naturally it is an achievement for all the humanity. We shouldn't just think this the Americans who went there, it is an event on the universal level. Anybody who understands something about technic maybe proud of that.
Thank you Igor Volk.
Interview made on Wednesday, August 19th, 2009 in Moscow.