Mikhail Vodopyanov: a brief biography

From the wheel to the plane

 As observed by one famous poet — a large one is visible at a distance. This rule was fully manifested in the biography of Mikhail Vasilyevich Vodopyanov, the legendary “Stalin’s Falcon”, Arctic explorer and writer.


future pilot came to light on 18 November 1899 in the ordinary peasant family. His parents lived in the village of Bolshie Studyonki, near the future city of Lipetsk. His father was engaged in breadmaking. The mother ran a household and raised children. According to all signs and traditions, the boy was destined to follow in the footsteps of his ancestors.

Michael graduated from three classes of church-parish school and began to help his parents in everyday affairs and care. The familiar way of life changed after the October Revolution in Petrograd.

In 1918, Vodopyanov was called into the ranks of the Red Army. Physically strong and unfoolish guy determined for service in division of heavy bombers. He was assigned to care for oxen and horses that were used to transport aircraft. Thus began the service of the future pilot. Mikhail was interested in the device of aircraft and willingly helped mechanics in repairing winged cars.


the war and in the peaceful sky 

In the army, Vodopyanov failed to become a pilot. After demobilization, he studied in aviation technicians courses, and began servicing the aircraft of legendary Russian pilot Khariton Slavorossov. In 1929 Mikhail Vasilyevich graduated from the flight technical school in Moscow and received the certificate of professional aviator. The certified pilot was sent to work in the Far East Air Communications Authority. He carried out the command’s responsible assignments for laying aviation routes to remote areas of the North and to Sakhalin.

When crossing from Murmansk to Vladivostok the steamer “Chelyuskin” crushed ice. The people were assigned to the airmen. Vodopyanov made three flights and took 10 people to the mainland. These events took place in the winter of 1934. In the pre-war years, an experienced pilot brought research scientists to different areas of the Arctic. Repeatedly made landings on ice. When the war broke out, Vodopyanov commanded a division of long-range bombers. Komdiv personally bombed the Fascist German capital city of Berlin in August 1941. Upon returning to base, the commander’s aircraft was shot down by enemy anti-aircraft aircraft. The crew miraculously managed to make their way to their territory.

Merit and personal life

After retirement, the honored pilot carried out a great educational work among young people. He was engaged in literary work. Stories and stories were published in magazines and published in separate books.

Homeland praised Mikhail Vasilyevich Vodopyanov’s merits. Among the first he was awarded the honorary title Hero of the Soviet Union. He was presented with the Gold Star at number 6.


pilot’s personal life went quietly. Husband and wife, Mikhail Vasilyevich and Maria Dmitrievna raised and raised seven children — two girls and five boys. General Vodopyanov died in August 1980. He was buried in Moscow.

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