his first attempt to fly by his own design aircraft (monoplane) as early as in 1881. In the 20th century a number of prominent Soviet aerospace engineers, inspired by the theoretical works of Nikolai Zhukovsky, supervised the creation of many dozens of models of military and civilian aircraft and founded a number of KBs (Construction Bureaus) that now constitute the bulk of Russian United Aircraft Corporation.
Famous Russian airplanes include the first supersonic passenger jet Tupolev Tu-144 by Alexei Tupolev, MiG fighter aircraft series by Artem Mikoyan and Mikhail Gurevich, and Su series by Pavel Sukhoi and his followers. The MiG-15 is the jet aircraft with the world's highest production in history, while MiG-21 is the most produced supersonic aircraft. During World War II era Bereznyak-Isayev BI-1 was introduced as the first
rocket-powered fighter aircraft, and Ilyushin Il-2 bomber became the most produced military aircraft in history. Polikarpov Po-2 Kukuruznik is the world's most produced biplane, and Mil Mi-8 is the most produced helicopter.
Famous Russian battle tanks include T-34, the best tank design of World War II, and further tanks of T-series, including the most produced tank in history, T-54/55, the first fully gas turbine tank T-80 and the most modern Russian tank T-90. The AK-47 and AK-74 by Mikhail Kalashnikov constitute the most widely used type of assault rifle throughout the world—so much so that more AK-type rifles have been manufactured than all other assault rifles combined. With these and other weapons Russia for a long time has been among the world's top suppliers of arms, accounting for around 30% of worldwide weapons sales and exporting weapons to about 80 countries.
With such technological achievements, however, since the time of Brezhnev stagnation Russia was lagging significantly behind the West in a number of technologies, especially those concerning energy conservation and consumer goods production. The crisis of 1990-s led to the drastic reduction of the state support for science. Many Russian scientists and university graduates left Russia for Europe or United States; this migration is known as a brain drain.
In 2000-s, on the wave of a new economic boom, the situation in the Russian science and technology has improved, and the government launched a campaign aimed into modernisation and innovation. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev formulated top 5 priorities for the country's
Moscow International Business Center under construction.