Media & Events


The Alexander Kartveli STEM Speaker Series opening Reception

May 3rd, 2018 at 6:30PM

The Embassy of Georgia and Alexander Kartveli Association welcome you to the first in a series of speaking engagements. The speaker series commemorates the life and work of Alexander Kartveli (ალექსანდრე ქართველიშვილი) - a Georgian born aviation designer, entrepreneur and innovator. Using Kartveli’s own life story to inspire and create interest in the STEM disciplines, the Embassy and the Kartveli Association will host a series of speakers throughout 2018 on trending STEM themes including technology and innovation.  In early February 2018, the Alexander Kartveli Association opened the Kartveli Learning Center at the Embassy of Georgia in Washington DC.  

Relevant to Georgian history, each of the two Voyager spacecraft carried an iconic Georgian folk song ‘Charkulo’ on the Golden Record that has now reached interstellar space. The Golden Record contain sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on planet Earth. The spirit and effort of that mission are emblematic of Alexander Kartveli’s dedication to innovation, entrepreneurship and learning. For example, It is little known that Kartveli performed important preliminary design work on high orbital aircraft and advised NASA’s predecessor agency – NACA (the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics).

John has been honored with several NASA awards, including the Distinguished Service Medal (NASA's highest award). He has received the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Space System Award, the von Karman Lectureship, the National Space Club Astronauts Engineer Award, and the American Astronomical Society's Space Flight Award. He is an Honorary Fellow of the AIAA and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the International Astronautics Academy. He received the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum Trophy for Lifetime Achievement in 2009. He was recently celebrated in Tbilisi, Georgia when the Association sponsored the Golden Record documentary science film and the 40th anniversary of the mission. To learn more about event click here

About the Alexander Kartveli Association is a not for profit entity registered in Georgia, which since 2014 has embarked on a major preservation effort to collect rare footage, images and artifacts about Alexander Kartveli and curate knowledge about his extraordinary life accomplishments for a growing community of followers in the science and educational fields. On exhibit from 2015 to 2016,  the Association donated an exhibit to the Georgian National Museum to highlight Kartveli's life and accomplishments, that helped create the platform for many of the Association's current programs that continue to unfold today. 


November 14, 2016 - Kartveli Reception at the Embassy of Georgia in Washington, DC

The Embassy of Georgia in Washington, DC, in partnership with US-based Alexander Kartveli Association, held a reception to celebrate the life and accomplishments of Alexander Kartveli (born Alexander Kartvelishvili, ალექსანდრე ქართველიშვილი) — legendary American aircraft designer of Georgian origin.

Special guests who spoke at the reception included Georgian Charge d’Affaires Giorgi Tsikolia and former US Ambassador to Georgia Richard Norland. Both gave presentations highlighting Kartveli’s achievements and importance to and US-Georgia relations.

Richard Rubin, Alexander Kartveli Association Chairman, spoke about the Association’s goals and presented a short film documentary, Alexander Kartveli and His Life. Further, Mr. Rubin announced the closing of the Alexander Kartveli exhibit at the Georgian National Museum in Tblisis. During the six months of the exhibit, thousands of Georgians enjoyed learning about Kartveli and his life.

The exhibit will soon have a permanent home when the Association opens a learning center in Tblisi next year.

Georgian film director Ramaz Bluashvili, a founding member of the Alexander Kartveli Association, spoke of his involvement in the Association followed by the story of the Georgian polyphonic song Chakrulo sent to airspace by NASA. He showcased excerpts of his ipcoming short film, “The Song — How a Georgian Folk Song was placed on the Voyager Mission Spacecraft”

Alexander Kartveli became a US citizen emigrating from Europe in the late 1920’s escaping the rise of Bolshevik Russia and war-torn Europe. A graduate of Paris Highest School of Aviation, he became an influential aircraft engineer and designer, a pioneer in American aviation history, and an early technology innovator.

Kartveli achieved breakthroughs in military aviation through aircraft design that proved to be essential to defeating Axis forces during World War II. He is considered to be one of the most important aircraft designers in US and world history, yet Kartveli’s legacy remains largely unknown.

Kartveli spent most of his career at the Republic Aviation Corporation  -  an American aircraft manufacturer based in Farmingdale, Long Island, NY. Originally known as the Seversky Aircraft Company, the company was responsible for the design and production of many important military aircrafts. Its founder Alexander de Seversky was another Georgia-born individual who made a signification contribution to U.S. aviation history.

Alexander Kartveli is solely responsible for seminal design advancements related to legendary aircraft. In addition to designing the first metal plane to cross the Atlantic, Kartveli is credited with designs for the P-35 (the first single-seat fighter to feature all-metal construction), the P-47 Thunderbolt (used to win air superiority in World War II), the XF-103 (high speed bomber), and the F-105 (used extensively in Vietnam).

Remarkably, the A-10 Thunderbolt II (Warthog), a Kartveli design from the early 1970’s, is still in service today and proved to be a vital close air support fighter aircraft in Operation Desert Storm - Iraq. Despite rapid innovation in aeronautical materials and designs since the 1970’s, 320 A-10s remain in service today and is both admired by the U.S. military and feared by the enemy. No other fighter aircraft has remained in active service longer than the A-10.

Kartveli’s contributions to hypersonic flight theory provided important contributions to NASA’s space flight ambitions. His advisory work at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the predecessor to NASA, proved valuable to early space shuttle and orbital aircraft designs.

In 1974, he died at age 77 in New York.

November 17, 2015


A Celebration of the Life and Accomplishments of a Georgian Aircraft Designer

Bethesda, Maryland (USA): The Alexander Kartveli Association is excited to announce the opening of a dedicated, permanent exhibit at the Georgia National Museum in honor of Alexander Kartveli, one of the greatest military aircraft designers in history.  Born in Tbilisi, Kartveli immigrated to the United States in his early 1920s to pursue a dream to design aircraft that tested the limits of aeronautical design.  The exhibit will highlight Kartveli’s extraordinary life and his enduring legacy of military aircraft design.  Kartveli is credited with major aircraft designs such as the P-47 Thunderbolt (used extensively in World War II by the United States), F-84 (used extensively in the Korean Wart and then by NATO forces), and the F-105 9used extensively in the Vietnam conflict).  Most remarkable is Kartveli’s A-10 “Warthog” design which remains in service today in the U.S. Air Force - its fifth decade as a vital close air support aircraft.  Kartveli also made significant contributions to the design and technology used in hypersonic propulsion and in early space flight.

Richard Rubin has embarked on a five-year endeavor to document and curate Kartveli’s values and life story. Richard Rubin, Chairman of the Alexander Kartveli Association says, “I am so pleased to contribute the rich content and media assets about this great aviation pioneer and innovator.  My team at the Alexander Kartveli Association has collected a vast trove of materials that paint a fascinating and inspiring story about a great Georgian who impacted world events through his individual contributions to aviation.  And most important of all, through the content at the exhibit, the people of Georgia will be able to enjoy of sense of national pride about Kartveli’s personal values that are an extension of his Georgian heritage.”

The exhibit will open November 17, 2015 with a brief ceremony to discuss the vision and mission behind the exhibit.

April 21, 2015

Aviation Media LLC is pleased to announce plans for a dedicated Alexander Kartveli exhibit in the Georgian National Museum.  The exhibit is planned to open at the end of 2015 in the main building of the museum in Tiblisi.  The exhibit will feature Kartveli's contribution to aviation, his inspirational life story and efforts today to preserve and highlight this important Georgian innovator.  Please visit the museum's website here.

Dedication ceremony for the Kartveli Aviation Factory, Georgia (in Georgian)

2013 Memorial ceremony to recognize Alexander Kartvelishvili's home in Tblisi (in Georgian)