Tupolev PJSC management and team pay their last respects to Valentin I. Bliznyuk
The head of operations, chief designer of the Tu-160 aircraft system and its modifications, recipient of the USSR State Prize Mr. Valentin I. Bliznyuk (91) passed away on December 30, 2019 following a serious and long illness.
Valentin Bliznyuk devoted his entire professional life to the Tupolev design bureau. Upon graduation from the Moscow Aerospace University, in 1952 he came as an ordinary design engineer to the enterprise. Valentin Bliznyuk participated in the development of prototype and production aircraft Tu-91, Tu-95, Tu-22, and Tu-16, supervised the development of engineering projects of special systems including Tu-121, Tu-123, Tu-130, Tu-136, Tu-141, and Tu-143.
Valentin Bliznyuk significantly contributed to the full-scale engineering development of the world’s first supersonic passenger aircraft Tu-144; he was a head of the department and then a deputy chief designer.
In the early 1970s, Valentin Bliznyuk took an active part in the work started for the Tu-160 strategic aircraft system. In 1975 he was made a chief designer and head of operations for the Tu-160 project. Valentin Bliznyuk not only carried out the general management of the project but also was in charge of the development of aerodynamic design and propulsion unit of the aircraft including many innovative solutions. In 1981 the Tu-160 aircraft system performed its maiden flight, and in 1987 it entered operational service with the USSR Air Force.
In the 1990s, Valentin Bliznyuk was the chief designer of Tu-160, supervised operations for its modification, retrofitting and equipping. In addition, he was in charge of the development of the Tu-330 cargo aircraft.
In the end of his life, Valentin Bliznyuk worked for Tupolev as an advisor in the Council of Elders, shared his experience with new generations of aircraft builders, participated in improvement processes for the company’s production and research facilities, and conducted an analysis of advanced developments.
Valentin I. Bliznyuk was awarded with high state honors for his merits.
Tupolev PJSC management and team extend their most sincere condolences to Valentin I. Bliznyuk’s family and friends. He was an outstanding aircraft designer, gifted manager, considerate and cooperative boss and friend. Valentin I. Bliznyuk made indispensable contribution to the growth of the national aircraft industry. He elaborated designs and put them into practice owing to his energy, knowledge and efforts, his true love to the aviation and confidence in its progress. The Tu-160 aircraft system was built under direct management of Valentin I. Bliznyuk and embodied huge experience and advanced achievements of the national aircraft industry. Tu-160 is still a flagship of the Russian long-range air force.
The Tupolev team will always remember Valentin I. Bliznyuk.