Copyright© 2000, Douglas Alberg.   Photographed January, 2000

ANT-20 ANT-20

Tupolev ANT-20 "Maxim Gorky" Grave Site

This eight-engined aircraft was a marvel in its day due to it's enormous size. Its purpose was propaganda and, on a demonstration flight the day it crashed on May 18th, 1935, it carried a crew of 23 and 40 passengers. It's passengers were special - farmers and factory workers who'd made their quotas and other heroes of the Revolution.

All aboard were killed when one of the two escort aircraft flying on each wing tip did a loop and impacted with the Maxim Gorky's wing in the process. The New York Times called it the worst air disaster in history.

Although the official story is that the acrobat's maneuver was unauthorized, he was posthumously awarded a medal and is buried alongside the other Maxim Gorky victims.

Location: The Novo-Devichy (Nowodjewchij) cemetery, Moscow.