Aviation History

Legendary Soviet test pilot Georgy Mosolov has passed away. He had been the first to fly the MiG-21.

Colonel Georgy Mosolov flew the prototype of the legendary MiG-21 fighter on its first flight on Feb. 14, 1955

MiG Corporation announced on Mar. 19 that Soviet test pilot Georgy Mosolov has died at the age of 91 in Moscow.

“The legend of jet aviation has passed away,” MIG’s Director General Ilya Tarasenko said. “He was a merited test pilot who made a huge contribution to the development of combat aviation in this country.”

Colonel Georgy Mosolov, who was born on May 3, 1926, joined the staff of MIG Corporation in 1953 after having attended the test pilot school at the Flight Research Institute near Moscow.

According TASS, Mosolov was not only one of the trailblazers of high-altitude and supersonic speed flights but also one of the first Soviet pilots to set world records. He has six records to his credit, including three absolute ones, and three absolute records in Soviet aviation.

Colonel Mosolov flew the prototype of the legendary MiG-21 (NATO reporting name Fishbed) fighter on its first flight on Feb. 14, 1955.

He also set some of the records flying the prototypes of the MiG-21. Also, he was known to be a close friend of Yuri Gagarin, the first human being to travel into space.

While in active duty, he flew more than 50 types of aircraft, he tested fighter aircraft engines and conducted complex testings on aerodynamics, steadiness and controllability of the aircraft.

On Sep. 7, 1962, Georgy Mosolov was severely wounded as a result of an accident suffered while he was flying a prototype of the MiG-23, when he ejected from the fighter after it experienced an engine failure. While getting treatment at the Sergei Botkin General Hospital in Moscow he survived two apparent deaths that forced him to leave his test pilot career.

He then became Aeroflot general representative in several countries from 1978 to 1992.

The Soviet authorities awarded Mosolov with the Gold Star of Hero of the Soviet Union in October 1960.

Colonel Georgy Mosolov

Photo credit: Markkonen Own work and Mihenator Own work via Wikipedia

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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