Kharkiv Petro Vasylenko National Technical University of Agriculture
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To the 90th anniversary of Kharkiv Tractor Plant

In October this year, the Kharkiv Tractor Plant, which has long been a leader in the tractor industry in Ukraine and a kind of business card of industrial Kharkiv, will celebrate its 90th anniversary. In this regard, we would like to remind you of the history of this tractor-building giant, which consists of several important stages of development and formation.

The first stage is the emergence and development of tractor production: from 100 machines per day to more than 40 thousand tractors per year.

 The second stageis the second birth of the plant after the devastating destruction during the war. But in 1948 the annual output of tractors reached 12,107 machines. Designers and engineers worked intensively to create a diesel engine DT-54 instead of kerosene engines, without which it is impossible to imagine the process of development of virgin lands. In 1958, a half-million tractor came off the assembly line. And in 1960 the plant switched to serial production of high-speed tracked tractors T-75 instead of DT-54. The new model of the tractor was more powerful than the previous one by 21 horsepower and had higher speeds, as well as less fuel consumption and less metal consumption. The diligent work of the company’s designers to eliminate defects and further improve the T-75 played an important role in creating the design of the T-74 tractor with diesel SMD-14 of the Kharkiv plant “Sickle and Hammer”.

On January 20, 1967, a millionth tractor came off the main KhTP assembly line. In December 1973 – one and a half million. This model has become a kind of business card of the giant plant, in particular, abroad.

The third stage  (70-80s of the XX century) corresponds to the transition to the production of T-150 tractors, which was the impetus for the introduction of new and reconstruction of old production buildings, technical re-equipment of the plant. This is a period of prosperity and hard work. Khrushchev’s impressions of American high-performance, powerful wheeled tractors prompted him to decide to make such samples and set up their production at KhTP. Later, they decided to create a family of unified tractors: tracked T-150 and wheeled T-150K.

In 1973, after testing, the State Commission decided to launch them into serial production. Due to organizational and technical measures, the resource of the tractor was increased to 8,000 hours. From 1973 to 1977, the T-150K tractor received 5 gold awards at international exhibitions. In 1981, the plant produced 52,000 tractors of various modifications, and labor productivity increased 17-18 times compared to 1932.

Finally, the fourth period in the life of the plant came with its transformation into a joint-stock company, and later with the change of owners.

Of course, the existence and development of an industrial enterprise of this scale became possible only if there is a huge driving force, which became people, professionals, talented designers, technologists, workers, extraordinary personalities. Most of them are dedicated to solving problems of the highest complexity. During its 90 years of existence, the plant has become home to many prominent personalities, their contribution to the development of domestic tractor industry can be told endlessly. And this should be done with those people in mind, because “who doesn’t know the past.” For now, I will talk about only two of them – the chief designer of KhTP Borys Kashuba and design engineer Ilya Chernyavsky.

Boris Kashuba started working at HTZ in 1952, and from 1971 to 1983 he worked as a chief designer. He began his career as a design engineer at the plant. Comintern, where he came after graduating with honors from the KHAI, where he received the qualification of mechanical engineer.

Stormy 1941… Evacuation to Chelyabinsk, position of chief engineer of SKB-75, then – work as deputy chief designer at the plant №77 in Barnaul. In 1943, immediately after the liberation of Stalingrad by order of the People’s Commissariat of Tractor Industry.

To the 90th anniversary of Kharkiv Tractor PlantB. Kashuba is sent to STZ. It is difficult to understand the fact that in February 1943 the reconstruction of the completely destroyed tractor plant began, and in June 1944 it had already resumed production of STZ NATI tractors.

 Until 1952, B. Kashuba worked at STZ as a chief designer of diesels, deputy chief engineer and chief designer of special production.

Several technical records are associated with his name in the history of the Kharkiv Tractor Plant. They were not achieved by his predecessors and are unlikely to be achieved in the future. During 29 years of work as the chief (for some time – general) designer BP Kashub together with his team created 12 models of tractors with power from 14 to 165 hp. and 3 models of diesel engines with power from 14 to 80 hp. with the production of fuel equipment to them. A total of 2,507,544 tractors were produced at KhTP between October 1931 and December 1990. And 80% of them (namely 2,062,136) were created under the leadership of B. Kashuba.

In 1974, Boris was appointed General Designer for energy-intensive arable tractors in the industry. In 1976 he was awarded the title of Laureate of the State Prize, and later – the title of Honored Engineer of Ukraine for the development of scientific bases for the selection of parameters, creation and introduction into production of energy-intensive tractors. B. Kashuba also had other state awards: two orders of the Red Star, 2 orders of the Red Banner of Labor, orders of the October Revolution and Friendship of Peoples, medals.

In 2011, the Department of Machine Reliability of the Petro Vasylenko Kharkiv National Technical University of Agriculture hosted a scientific conference dedicated to the 80th anniversary of KhTP and the 100th anniversary of B. Kashuba. It put forward a proposal to install a memorial plaque to the designer. The proposal was supported by KhTP, KhNADU (KHADI) and the search for a contractor began. Unfortunately, this idea was implemented only in 2020. The memorial plaque was made by the famous sculptor Alexander Nikolaevich Ridny and on June 6, 2020 it was opened at the house on the street. Hirshman 17, where Boris Pavlovich lived for almost 30 years. The event was attended by representatives of KhTP, KhNADU, KhNTUA, as well as Public Television. The chairman of the Kharkiv regional trade union Sergey Anatolyevich Teslenko expressed gratitude to initiators of honoring BP Kashubians and those who helped make and install the plaque.

But B. Kashuba was not the only designer who made a huge contribution to the development of Ukrainian tractor construction. Such a designer was Ilya Chernyavsky, a famous tractor builder, an extraordinary personality, a researcher in the field of reliability and strength of tractor equipment. Unfortunately, on December 18, 2020, he passed away at the age of 91, leaving a grateful memory of himself.To the 90th anniversary of Kharkiv Tractor Plant

Ilya was born in January 1930 in the city of Alexandria, Kirovograd region, in a family of workers. The boy finished four classes when the war began. My father defended the city of Kharkiv, and Ilya and his mother were evacuated to the city of Tashkent, where he continued his studies. In 1944, his mother and Ilya returned to Kharkiv, where he graduated from high school with a medal №131 and without exams was enrolled in the Kharkiv Institute of Technology at the Faculty of Engineering Physics, majoring in “Dynamics and Strength”. In 1953, I.S. Chernyavsky graduated from the institute and became a foreman at the Kharkiv Sickle and Hammer Plant.

In 1957 I. Chernyavsky began working at KhTP. It was this year that the design bureau of calculations and scientific research was established in the design department of the plant on the initiative of the chief designer B. Kashuba, and in 1961 – the laboratory of dynamics. The bureau was headed by a scientist, the founder of the scientific school on the reliability of machines Veniamin Anilovich (school and university friend of I. Chernyavsky), and since 1962 – Ilya himself. Thus began his almost half-century journey (1957-2004) in the field of domestic tractor construction.

In 1968, I. Chernyavsky defended his dissertation on “Study of the operating conditions of gears of tractors and the development of ways to ensure their durability.” All scientific developments and research of the dissertation had a real basis and solved the problems faced by the designers of the T-74 tractor, which at that time mass-produced KhTP, as well as the powerful plow T-125. I. Chernyavsky’s developments gave a significant economic effect on KhTP, which was estimated at 16 million Soviet rubles in the prices of 60-80 years of the twentieth century. This, incidentally, corresponded to the cost of producing 24,000 tractors. The economic effect was significant not only for KhTP but also for all tractor plants in the Soviet Union. And this was a significant step towards improving and perfecting new types of tractors throughout the industry.

 A significant stage in the history of tractor construction was the creation of a family of energy-intensive tractors of the T-150 type. The project of the new tractor was approved and defended after the reports of B. Kashuba and I. Chernyavsky at the meeting of the Scientific and Technical Council of the Ministry of Tractor and Agricultural Engineering at NATO. During the state tests, there were very serious problems that even questioned the possibility of creating a working machine. But all the shortcomings have been eliminated.

It is worth noting that the participation of extraordinary research engineer Ilya Semenovich Chernyavsky in many meetings of the Union and Republican levels was due to his impeccable knowledge of tractor designs, ability to find the cause of problems and the possibility of its elimination, and bring everything to a high level of perfection. At the same time, Ilya Semenovych understood that all production achievements should be accompanied by scientific developments and research. Therefore, he supervised the candidates and diploma theses. More than one-degree recipient was grateful to him for his help and helpful advice.

 I. Chernyavsky became the author of 26 inventions implemented at KhTP, co-author of more than 168 scientific papers covering the results of design tests, had 35 copyright certificates, was repeatedly awarded medals of the ENEA, diplomas of the relevant ministry and other organizations. The economic effect of the implementation of his inventions and modernizations was measured not only by millions of rubles but also by thousands of tons of rolled metal and other materials.

After retirement, I. Chernyavsky continued to actively publish his work, advised graduate students, and was keenly interested in new tractor construction…

Svitlana Kashuba

Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Descriptive Geometry, KhNTUA (1975-2005)