Peter Maksimovich Ostapenko 1928-2012
Peter Maksimovich Ostapenko was born in Prokhladny town of Kabardino-Balkariya. He served in the Army from 1947. In 1951 he graduated from Armavir high military aviation pilot school. After graduation appointed there as pilot-instructor (till 1957). In 1958 graduated from Test-pilot school and in 1967 graduated from MAI. Between 1958 -1983 he worked as test-pilot and from 1983 as a leading engineer at A.I.Mikoyan EDB.
Ostapenko helped develop no less than 64 aircraft variants, including the MiG-21, MiG-23, MiG-25, MiG-27, MiG-29 and MiG-31 fighters and interceptors, and the EPOS (article 105.11) space vehicle prototype. He flew over 5,000 hours as a test pilot, made over 10,000 landings, and held eight world aviation records including absolute altitude and speed records gained in Ye-166 and MiG-25 aircraft.
He survived an ejection from a prototype MiG-31 interceptor in 1979.
He made a huge contribution to MiG's test pilot school. Awarded Hero of the Soviet Union, he also held the Order of Lenin, Red Banner Order of Labor, Red Star, and was awarded a USSR State Prize. He was also awarded the title of USSR Senior Test Pilot and USSR Senior Aircraft Builder.He was also awarded the De Lavaux international aviation prize in 1963.