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Mikhail Ivanovich Gudkov, who had been with the Lavochkin-OKB before the team Lavochkin, Gorbunov and Gudkov (of LaGG fame) split up, had his doubts about the objectivity of the then deputy People's Com-missar for scientific research and experimental construction in the field of aviation, Alexandr Sergeyevich Yakovlev. He put his design on Stalin's personal desk and hoped for the best. Stalin called Yakovlev in and asked what he thought of the design and ordered Yakovlev to go ahead with it, saying: "We'll risk the millions and I'll take the blame if necessary." Yakovlev couldn't very well back down and the Gu-1 was built. Gudkov never designed another plane.


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