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V.P. Chkalov Memorial Museum

After Valery Chkalov died while testing the I-180 pursuit plane on December 15th, 1938, the Council of People’s Commissars decreed a “Memoriam of V.P. Chkalov”.

On January 9th, 1939 the President of the Gorky regional executive committee and executive committee bureau of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks) decided to organize V.P. Chkalov’s memorial museum in his native land. It says: “For the purpose of memorializing our great pilot, our compatriot, Hero of the Soviet Union V.P. Chkalov, in addition to the events planned by the government to memorialize V.P. Chkalov, pre presidium of the regional executive committee and executive committee bureau of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Bolsheviks) ordered: 1. To organize the museum in the house where V.P. Chkalov was born, resided, and to focus on all the documents and materials relating to V.P. Chkalov”.

V.P. Chkalov House Museum

The Gorkiy Local History Museum (now a historical and architectural museum-reserve) prepared the Chkalov house for the museum opening. The work on collecting materials began. After a year more than a thousand exhibits were delivered to the museum. There were materials received from Chkalov’s wife Olga Erazmovna, from different organizations and from private collectors. In May 1940, Evgeny Mikhailovich Boev was appointed director of the museum. On July 7th, 1940 the museum was opened for attendees. In the same year the museum collection included an I-17 plane and Boev’s personal U-2 plane. In 1941, for storage the construction of the Hangar started. Today the planes that Chkalov piloted and the Hangar collection of Chkalov’s personal cars and other things are stored.

The Memorial House Museum built in 1896 is made of wood, one-storey and with an attic. In 1956, the house was relocated away from the dangerous zone of the coast line because of the formation of the Gorky water-storage basin. In this house the Hero of the Soviet Union, V.P. Chkalov was born and he later grew up to become an outstanding pilot.

The Memorial House Museum

The second place to view is the Hangar. In the Hangar there is an exhibition of a unique collection of planes of the 1930s. These are planes, connected with Chkalov’s piloting: the ANT-25, I-16, I-17, U-2 and Chkalov’s personal car “Packard”.

The Hangar

The Memorial Chkalov Museum is one of the most popular museums of the Volga region.
Its exhibition space area consists of 136 square meters (7 rooms and corridor). In this house there is a designated exposition, dedicated to V.P. Chkalov’s life and activity. Essentially, this exposition consists of articles of everyday life of Chkalov’s family, Chkalov’s personal things, photos, and documents.

Rooms in Chkalov’s house

Average number of attendees per year: 13,200.
Storage units: 8006, 5981 of them are the articles of the main collection.

The most valuable collection of planes of the 30s, connected with V.P. Chkalov’s piloting, includes 4 units. The most valuable articles are the:

ANT-25 Plane

The plane was designed and constructed for achieving a record of long-distance flight. With this plane Chkalov’s crew made 2 non-stop flights: to the Far East (UDD island) and to the USA over the North Pole.


According to its tactics and technical data this plane was the best pursuit plane of the 30s. It was tested by V.P. Chkalov. N.N. Polikarpov and V.P. Chkalov were awarded Lenin orders for the construction of this plane. The I-16 was used during the Great Patriotic War.


Chkalov’s personal plane was a present from the Government for his flight to the Far East. It was designed as a training plane, but later was widely used in different fields of national economy, and was used during the Great Patriotic War.


This plane was tested by Chkalov and was exhibited at the 15th All-World Aircraft Exhibition in Paris. The plane was experimental and was not constructed as part of the series, but it was an interesting sample of N.N. Polikarpov’s construction creativity.

“Packard” : Chkalov’s private limousine


Contact information:
 606540, Nizhny Novgorod region, Chkalov, Chkalov str. 5.
Tel.: +7 831 602 17 06
Director: Sergey Vladimirovich Nokolichev, tel.: +7 831 604 24 99