Rafael Ivanovich Kaprelyan (Gabrielyan) (Russian: Рафаил Иванович Капрэлян; May 5, 1909 in Baku – July 12, 1984 in Moscow) was a Merited Test Pilot of the USSR and a Hero of the Soviet Union (1975).
Rafael Ivanovich Kaprelyan
|Born||5 May 1909|
|Died||12 July 1984 (aged 75)|
|Awards||Hero of the Soviet Union|
Kaprelyan was born to the family of Armenian doctor Hovnan Gabrielyan. He graduated from Leningrad Institute of Civil Air Fleet Engineers in 1932, and Bataysk Military Aviation School of Pilots in 1934.
He worked as an airline pilot before World War II, mastering practically all kinds of the USSR transport aircraft of that time. During the war, he was the second-in-command of the special forces airgroup, fulfilling tasks of the General Staff. During one such flight, he landed poorly as a result of acute icing and was taken as a POW by the Nazis, but he managed to escape and found himself among partisans. He was later appointed commander of the 89th bomber regiment. His regiment represented long-range aviation at the Victory Parade on June 24, 1945.
From 1947 he worked as a test-pilot, and tested the long bomber Tu-4. He was a lead test pilot of the Mi-1 helicopter programme from 1953 to 1966. He carried out the maiden flights of the Mi-4, Mi-6 and Mi-10 helicopters.
He tested 57 aircraft and helicopters, altogether flew about 75 types of aircraft.
- "KAPRELYAN Raphael Ivanovich, photo, biography". persona.rin.ru. Retrieved 2018-12-28.