Amet-khan Sultan : biography
Amet-khan Sultan ( 25 October 1920, Alupka, Crimea – 1 February 1971) was a Soviet fighter and test pilot whose mother was Crimean Tatar and father was an ethnic Lak. (in Russian) Alternative spellings of his name include Ahmed Khan Sultan, Amet-Han Soultan, Ahmet-Han Sultan, Amet-Han Sultan, and Sultan Amet-Han.
Amet-Khan graduated from military aviation school in 1940. With the German attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941 he was a pilot with the 4th Fighter Regiment, based around Odessa, flying the I-16. He claimed his first victory on 31 May 1942, ramming a Junkers Ju-88 with his Hawker Hurricane fighter. In October 1942 he transferred to the elite 9th GIAP Guards Fighter Regiment, equipped at various times with the Yak-1, P-39 Airacobra and finally the Lavochkin La-7. In action over the Briansk, south-western, Stalingrad, southern, Ukrainian, and Belo-Russian fronts, Amet-Khan flew some 603 sorties participated in 150 air battles, and personally claimed 30 planes shot down, with 19 more victories shared.Mellinger and Stanaway 2001, p. 85.
In 1946 he transferred to the Reserve. and became a test pilot. He was killed in a plane crash on 1 February 1971 during a test flight on Tupolev Tu-16LL. During his lifetime he personally tested over 100 planes.
Honours and awards
- Twice Hero of the Soviet Union
- Honoured Test Pilot of the USSR
- Three Orders of Lenin
- Five Orders of the Red Banner
- Order of Alexander Nevsky
- Order of the Patriotic War First Class
- Order of the Red Star
- Order of the Badge of Honour
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