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A man of science and honor

Next in the series "Scientific Regiment" is the story of the life and scientific achievements of another famous Madian. Our story is about one of the founders of the deformation theory of plasticity, dynamics of plastic and viscoplastic media, an outstanding researcher of continuous media mechanics, the author of famous works on the theory of elasticity and gas dynamics Alexey Ilyushin.

A corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, full member of the Academy of Artillery Sciences, Stalin Prize winner of the first degree, Professor Alexei Antonovich Ilyushin was a true scientist and a man of duty. From 1940 to 1943 he headed the Department of Structural Mechanics MADI.

Researches and investigations carried out in 1941-42 by research groups of structural mechanics and elasticity departments of MADI played an important role during the Great Patriotic War. The army needed to increase the power of armor-piercing shells, because the thickness of tank armor during the war constantly increased from 40 mm to 270 mm respectively. 

Meanwhile, the growth of projectile power was hampered by the deformation of the shells during the volley due to the increased pressure of the powder gases. Such deformations were considered unacceptable, and a huge number of defective shells were piled up in the warehouses.

Alexey Ilyushin and his colleagues by the end of 1941 had successfully solved this problem by developing a method of estimating deformation properties of shells and justifying the limits of their permissible deformation. 

Under the leadership of Alexey Antonovich, scientists of the MADI mechanical laboratory in Yangi-Yul together with colleagues from Moscow State University tested metal specimens at high strain rates and fatigue tests. As a result, it was proved that the projectile metal must have plasticity in the first place, and the deformations appearing at the moment of firing are quite acceptable.

Thus, the possibility of using previously rejected shells in combat was substantiated, which played a crucial role in many combat operations. Alexey Ilyushin's research made it possible to produce shells in unlimited quantities, and led to enormous savings in forces, money and materials during the war.

One of the major leaders of the ammunition industry, General N.D. Ivanov, would say to Professor Ilyushin in the middle of 1942: "You will never realize what you have done for the war and the Victory".

During the war, Alexey Antonovich carried out many important scientific developments for the front and the Victory. He created and tested tank armor and air bombs, made engineering calculations of defense structures.

 In 1943 Alexey Antonovich Ilyushin was awarded with the Order of the Red Star, and in 1944 - with the Medal "For Defense of Moscow".

This amazing scientist made a huge contribution to science, not only in wartime, but also in peacetime. We will always remember his scientific feat!