Tu-144 prototype performed its first flight on 31 December 1968, with test pilot Eduard Elyan at the controls
TU-144 photograph signed by Elyan (Commander) and Sevastinov(Test Engineer)
Eduard Elyan was born on August, 20th, 1926 in city Baku (Azerbaijan). In 1944 he finished the Sverdlovsk special school of the Air Forces and entered the army. He became a pilot-instructor.
in 1951 and in 1953 graduated from the Test Pilot school. From June 1953 till March 1958 he was employed on flight test work in LII. In 1958-1960 he was a test pilot at OKB Sukhoi.
Between 1960-1982 he was test pilot with OKB Tupolev, making the first flight of the TU-144 and participating in flight tests of the TU-22 and other types. He participated in tests of aviation survival suits.
He was made a Colonel in 1967 and a hero of Soviet Union in 1971. Awarded Nagrazhden Lenin's awards, the Red Banner, the Red Star, medals and the Tissande Diploma from the FAI in 1969.