Alexander Kartvelishvili (Kartveli)
Alexander Kartveli (Georgian: ალექსანდრე ქართველიშვილი) 1896-1974, born Kartvelishvili) was an aircraft engineer and a pioneer of American aviation.
Kartveli was born in Tbilisi, Georgia, into noble family. He graduated from the grammar school in Tbilisi in 1914.
Kartveli graduated in 1922 from the Highest School of Aviation in Paris. In 1922-1927, he worked for a while at the Louis Bleriot Company and designed the “Bernard” and “Ferbois” aircraft . In 1924, one of his aircraft established a world speed record.
In 1927, American millionaire Charles Levine invited Kartveli to New York. In 1928 he joined the Fokker American Company. In 1931 Kartveli met well-known engineer Alexander de Seversky, who was also from Georgia, and became Chief Engineer at the Seversky Aircraft Corporation. In 1939 this Company changed its name to the “Republic Aviation Company”.
Kartveli and Seversky created a series of aircraft and during World War II they designed one of its greatest planes, the Republic P-47.
After World War II, Kartveli designed well-known aircraft such as the Republic F-84 Thunderjet and the Republic F-105 Thunderchief.
Kartveli died in 1974, in New York.
Republic F-84 Thunderjet
The Republic F-84 Thunderjet was an American turbojet fighter-bomber aircraft. Originating as a 1944 United States Army Air Forces proposal for a “day fighter”, the F-84 flew in 1946. Although it entered service in 1947, the Thunderjet was plagued by so many structural and engine problems that a 1948 Air Force review declared it unable to execute any aspect of its intended mission and considered cancelling the program. The aircraft was not considered fully operational until the 1949 F-84D model and the design matured only with the definitive F-84G introduced in 1951.
In 1944, Republic Aviation’s chief designer, Alexander Kartveli, began working on a turbojet-powered replacement for the P-47 Thunderbolt piston-engined fighter. The initial attempts to redesign the P-47 to accommodate a jet engine proved futile due to the large cross-section of the early centrifugal compressor turbojets. Instead, Kartveli and his team designed a brand-new aircraft with a streamlined fuselage largely occupied by an axial compressor turbojet engine and fuel stored in rather thick unswept wings
On 11 November 1944, Republic received an order for three prototypes of the new XP-84—Model AP-23. Since the design promised superior performance to the Lockheed-built P-80 Shooting Star and Republic had extensive experience in building single-seat fighters, no competition was held for the contract. The name Thunderjet was chosen to continue the Republic Aviation tradition started with the P-47 Thunderbolt while emphasizing the new method of propulsion. On 4 January 1945, even before the aircraft took to the air, the USAAF expanded its order to 25 service test YP-84As and 75 production P-84Bs (later modified to 15 YP-84A and 85 P-84B).
Meanwhile, wind tunnel testing by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics revealed longitudinal instability and stabilizer skin buckling at high speeds. The weight of the aircraft, a great concern given the low thrust of early turbojets, was growing so quickly that the USAAF had to set a gross weight limit of 13,400 lb (6,080 kg). The results of this preliminary testing was incorporated into the third prototype, designated XP-84A, which was also fitted with a more powerful J35-GE-15 engine with 4,000 lbf (17.8 kN) of thrust.
The first prototype XP-84 was transferred to Muroc Army Air Field (present-day Edwards Air Force Base) where it flew for the first time on 28 February 1946 with Major Wallace A. “Wally” Lien at the controls. It was joined by the second prototype in August; both aircraft flying with J35-GE-7 engines producing 3,745 lbf (16.66 kN). The 15 YP-84As delivered to Patterson Field (present-day Wright-Patterson Air Force Base) for service tests differed from XP-84s by having an upgraded J35-A-15 engine, carrying six 0.50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns (four in the nose and one in each wing root), and having the provision for wingtip fuel tanks holding 226 U.S. gal (856 L) each.
Due to delays with delivery of jet engines and production of the XP-84A, the Thunderjet had undergone only limited flight testing by the time production P-84Bs began to roll out of the factory in 1947. In particular, the impact of wingtip tanks on aircraft handling was not thoroughly studied. This proved problematic later.
After the creation of the United States Air Force by the National Security Act of 1947, the Pursuit designation was replaced with Fighter, and the P-84 became the F-84.
F-84s were assigned to the 27th Fighter Wing, 27th Fighter Escort Wing, 27th Strategic Fighter Wing, 31st Fighter Escort Wing, 127th Fighter Day Wing, 127th Fighter Escort Wing, 127th Strategic Fighter Wing, 407th Strategic Fighter Wing and the 506th Strategic Fighter Wing of the Strategic Air Command from 1947 through 1958.
1927 წელს ცნობილმა ამერიკელმა მულტიმილიონერმა ჩარლზ ლევინმა ქართველიშვილი სამუშაოდ მიიწვია ნიუ-იორკში. 1928 წელს მან მოღვაწეობა დაიწყო ცნობილ კომპანიაში “Fokker American Company”. 1931 წელს იგი შეხვდა საავიაციო საქმის მეორე ცნობილ ინჟინერს ალექსანდრე სევერსკის, რომელიც წარმოშობით ქართველი გახლდათ და იყო იმხანად უკვე ფართოდ ცნობილი კორპორაციის “Seversky Aircraft Corporation” პრეზიდენტი და მთავარი ინჟინერი. 1939 წელს მას შეეცვალა სახელი და ეწოდა “Republic Aviation Company”. ქართველიშვილი იყო ამ კომპანიის ვიცე-პრეზიდენტი.
ქართველიშვილმა და სევერსკიმ ერთად შექმნეს რამდენიმე თვითმფრინავი, ხოლო მეორე მსოფლიო ომის დროს თვითმფრინავი Republic P-47, რომელიც ომის ბოლო წლებში შეერთებული შტატების საჰაერო ძალების ერთ-ერთ მთავარ თვითმფრინავს წარმოადგენდა.
მეორე მსოფლიო ომის შემდეგ ქართველიშვილმა შექმნა ისეთი ცნობილი თვითმფრინავები როგორიც არის F-84 Thunderjet, Republic F-105 და Republic F-84.
ავიამშენებლობის და აერონავტიკის დარგში დიდი დამსახურებისთვის ქართველ ინჟინერს მიღებული ჰქონდა აშშ-ის მეცნიერების ეროვნული მედალი. იგი არჩეული იყო აშშ-ის საინჟინრო აკადემიის საპატიო წევრად.
ალექსანდე ქართველიშვილი გარდაიცვალა 1974 წელს ნიუ-იორკში.