Nikolai Ilyich Kamov (Kamov also; Russian Николай Ильич Камов, scientific transliteration Nikolay Il’ič Kamov;
* 14th September 1902 in Irkutsk; † 24th November 1973) was chief designer of the eponymous Soviet/Russian Kamov design office, which is specialized in the development of helicopters.
Nikolai Kamov was the son of a teacher. In 1918 he started at the Technological Institute in Tomsk study for rail vehicles, which he completed in 1923 with the engineering degree. Since he had chosen while studying for the construction of aircraft, he took a job as a mechanic in the Junkers subsidiary plant in Fili near Moscow. Besides, he looked in the self study with aerodynamics and aircraft design. Soon he moved to the maintenance department of the airline Dobroljot. In 1928 he was inducted into the “Department of Seaplane Trials” (OMOS) who worked on the twin-engine flying boat torpedo TOM-1 headed by Dmitry Grigorovich. In the group also had later become known designers as Sergei Korolev, Mikhail Gurevich, Georgi Berijew Vadim Shafrov and Igor Tschetwerikow. After Grigorovich ‘dismissal in 1928, Frenchman Paul E. Richard took over the group.
Along with Nikolai Kamov Skrischinski constructed in 1929 the first Soviet autogyro, the KASKR. After the trial, he devoted himself entirely to the design of rotorcraft and entered 1932 in the “Office of Special constructions” (BOK), where he became head of the department gyroplane. Besides some prototypes there was 1934 built in small series gyroplane ZAGI A-7.
In 1944 he developed his first helicopter, the Ka-8. This showed for the first time the feature of all following Kamov helicopter on: You have two coaxial contra-rotating rotors that make a moment compensation at the stern superfluous reduce the risk of injury to maintenance personnel or bystanders, avoid the power loss in the drive of the tail rotor and a smaller number of critical components exhibit. In the following years Kamov designed more types, i.a. the Ka-10, Ka-15, Ka-18, Ka-22, Ka-25 and Ka-26.
Nikolai Kamov died on 24th November 1973. The company “Kamov” still exists.
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