Valerian Abakovsky

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Valerian Abakovsky
Born (1895-10-05)5 October 1895
Riga, Governorate of Livonia, Russian Empire (now Latvia)
Died 24 July 1921(1921-07-24) (aged 25)
Serpukhov, Russian SFSR
Occupation Inventor
Known for Aerowagon

Valerian Ivanovich Abakovsky (Russian: Валериа́н Ива́нович Абако́вский, Latvian: Valerians Abakovskis) (5 October 1895 – 24 July 1921) is best remembered as the inventor of the Aerowagon.

Early life

Ethnically Latvian, he was born in Riga on October 5, 1895. Although a talented inventor, he worked as a chauffeur for the Tambov Cheka.

The Aerowagon

The invention for which Abakovsky is remembered is the Aerowagon; it was an experimental high-speed railcar fitted with an aero engine and propeller traction. It was originally intended to carry Soviet officials.


On 24 July 1921, a group of communists led by Fyodor Sergeyev took the Aerowagon from Moscow to the Tula collieries to test it. Abakovsky was also on board. Although they successfully arrived in Tula, on the return route to Moscow the Aerowagon derailed at high speed, killing 6 out of the 22 on board. The following people died in the accident:

  • John Freeman
  • Oskar Heilbrich
  • John William Hewlett
  • Fyodor Sergeyev (Artyom)
  • Otto Strupat
  • Abakovsky himself, at the age of 25.

All six were buried in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis.


Alexey Abramov / Алексей Абрамов, By the Kremlin Wall / У кремлёвской стены, Moscow / Москва́, Politizdat / Политиздат, 1978, pp./стр. 399 (Russian)