9 October 2013

Loop De Loop Google Doodle – 100th Anniversary of the 1st Loop De Loop

Loop De Loop Google Doodle

Loop De Loop Google Doodle

On the 9th of September 2013, the Doodlers in the Google Doodle team created a homage to the first aviation Loop De Loop. The manoeuvre was first completed by the pilot Pyotr Nesterov on the 9th of September 1913.  The Loop De Loop Google Doodle only appeared on the homepage for residents of the following countries: Belarus, Russia and the Ukraine.

The Loop De Loop Google Doodle featured a tree-filled landscape but most of the image area was taken up by a clear blue sky. In this clear blue sky appeared a primitive monoplane which swooped down to perform a loop de loop before flying off out of the image.

Pyotr Nestrov was an accomplished pilot, who learnt to fly in a glider which he constructed himself. He began his formal pilot training in 1911 and graduated on October the 11th of the following year. After this, he shortly completed the necessary training to become a military pilot. After he completed his training he became the leader of a flight relay in Kiev in May of 1913.

His accomplishment was born from the idea that it was possible for a plane to fly a complete loop. Despite the doubts and cynicism of his peers, he completed the manoeuvre on September 9th 1913. The manoeuvre was completed in a Nieuport IV monoplane, which was powered by a 70hp Gnome engine. The loop was completed in the airspace above the Syretzk Aerodome, which is near Kiev in the Ukraine.

Although the manoeuvre was completed in front of crowds of observers, Nesterov was initially punished for his action. His punishment consisted of ten days of close arrest for the charge of “risking government property”.  However when the French pilot Adolphe Pegoud replicated his achievement, he became a hero overnight. Following his change in fate, Nesterov was promptly promoted to staff captain and awarded a medal.

Loop De Loop Google Doodle NesterovMany pilots and historians praise Nesterov as the founder of aerobatics, an exercise he felt was important to increase and improve the capabilities of military pilots.

The First World War provided Nesterov with the environment to put his theories into practice.

He gained recognition for his unrivalled ability to control the primitive bomb release systems used. This basic aircraft was unequipped with weapons capable of attacking other planes. Despite this, Nesterov became the first pilot to destroy an enemy aircraft whilst in flight.

This accomplishment was achieved on the 25th of August 1914. After unsuccessfully attempting to shoot down the enemy Austrian Albatros B.II with his pistol, he physically drove his Morane-Saulnier Type G monoplane into the Austrian aircraft. Most likely he meant only to clip the aircraft. However, in his excitement, he did as much damage to his own aircraft. Subsequently both aircraft crashed. Nesterov fell from his plane as it dropped from the sky and died from his injuries the following day.

In tribute to his accomplishments, the town of Zhovkva was renamed Nesterov in 1951. It was since then reverted back to its original name.