Knights of the Sky club activity days 14 – 22 January 2023 for the Tsar Bomba Tester diploma


The club of radio amateur aviators “Knights of the Sky” from 14 to 22 January 2023 holds a regular Activity Days, dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Hero of the Soviet Union, Aviation Lieutenant Colonel Andrei Yegorovich Durnovtsev.

A.I. Durnovtsev (January 14, 1923 – October 24, 1976) was born in a peasant family in Verkhniye Kuryaty village of Krasnoyarsk territory. In July 1942 was called up for military service and in 1943 he graduated from Irkutsk Military Aviation School of Mechanics. Participant of the Great Patriotic War. In 1948 he graduated from the Engels military aviation school of pilots and served in flight positions in long-range aviation.

As one of the best in the 106th heavy bomber aviation division the crew, led by Major A.I. Durnovtsev, was sent to the 71st Air Force test range (airfield Bagerovo, Crimea). Their aircraft carrier TU-95 in August-October 1961 was retrofitted with a facility providing the suspension of the bomb under the fuselage of the aircraft, control system, automation, and protection of the crew.

After relocation to the Olenya airfield (the Kola Peninsula), the crew of the carrier aircraft performed a test drop of a bomb with a conventional high explosive charge on October 16, 1961.

Prepared for air detonation at Novozemelsk test site thermonuclear bomb “article RDS-202” with an estimated power of 50Mt had a weight of 26 tons, length of 8 m, and diameter of 2 m. The parachute system of the bomb consisted of 4 cascades and weighed more than 800 kg. The last main parachute in the cascade had an area of 1600 sq.m.

On October 30, 1961 the bomb was dropped from a Tu-95-202 at an altitude of 11.5 kilometers above the target at the State Test Site № 6 of the USSR Ministry of Defense, located on the archipelago Novaya Zemlya. The bomb was detonated with a barometric fuze 189 seconds after dropping at 11 hours 33 minutes MSC (08:33 UTC) at an altitude of 4200 m above sea level (4000 m above target).

At the time of the explosion, the carrier aircraft was at a distance of about 39 km from the explosion epicenter, and the Tu-16-A laboratory aircraft accompanying it – 53.5 km.

The shockwave caused all four engines on the carrier aircraft to stop, three of which managed to start in the air. Both planes successfully landed at the departure airfield, and a day later flew to the Bagerovo airfield to decontaminate and process the test results.

According to the results of objective control, the total explosive energy of the thermonuclear bomb, which received the unofficial names of “Tsar Bomba” and “Kuzkin mother”, was more than 57 megatons in TNT equivalent.

For the exemplary performance of a particularly important government assignment, all crew members were awarded regular military ranks.

Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet on March 7, 1962 “for their courage and heroism in the conduct of aerial nuclear testing” title Hero of the Soviet Union was awarded to Deputy Squadron Commander – Commander Tu-95-202 Lieutenant Colonel AE Durnovtsev.

By the same Decree, the title of Hero of the Soviet Union was awarded to Lieutenant Colonel I.N. Kleshch, the squadron’s navigator, and Lieutenant Colonel V.F. Martynenko, the leading test pilot – commander of the Tu-16-A laboratory aircraft. The other members of the airplane crews were awarded orders.

Terms of the “Tsar Bomba Tester” diploma:

Diplomas are valid from January 1, 2023. The validity of the diploma is permanent. Radio communications with amateur radio operators of all countries in the 1.8 – 28MHz and VHF bands are counted.

You need to score – 100 points.

For radio communication with an honorary member of the club “RYTHERS OF THE SKY” U4MIR is awarded – 20 points.

For QSO members of the club “Knights of the Sky” is awarded – 10 points.

For the correspondents listed above, a multiplier is introduced for the following types of radiation:

CW -2


DIGI — 1

For QSO on the band 160 meters – 1,5

Repeated communications with the same member in the same day are counted on different bands, and on ONE – different types of radiation (all DIGI counts as one type).

The diploma is issued through and

Members of the club “RYTHERS OF THE SKY” receive activator diplomas during the Days of Activity when at least:

100 QSO – 3rd degree;

200 QSO – 2rd degree;

300 QSO – 1rd degree.

As applicants, members of the RYTHERS OF THE SKY club do not receive a diploma.


If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.


Leave a Reply

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: