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    Legendary Soviet Pilot Valery Chkalov

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    Valery Chkalov was born today 113 years ago. He conducted several record flights, the most memorable of which was in June 1937, when he became the first man to complete a non-stop flight from Moscow, USSR to Vancouver, WA, US through the North Pole. The 9,000-kilometer-long air route took him more than 63 hours.

    At age 34, Chkalov died during the first test flight on the Polikarpov I-180 Soviet fighter prototype. To commemorate the Hero of the Soviet Union, the village of Vasilyevo, where Chkalov was born, was named in his honor — now, it is the town of Chkalovsk in Nizhny Novgorod Region.

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