11 Unusual Soviet Snowmobile Equipment

Unusual Soviet Snowmobile Equipment

Posted on October 5, 2010 by team

An idea to adjust transport means to move over snow appeared long ago.

First snowmobile was built in Russia in 1904 by an engineer S.S. Nezhdanovsky. It was a light model with an internal-combustion engine equipped with an aerodynamic propeller.

Already in 1907 Y.A. Meller made and tested “a skiing mobile”  and a year later this vehicle was called “a motor sleigh”. Igor Sikorsky contributed much to snowmobiles development as well.

First snowmobile of Igor Sikorsky.

Second snowmobile of Sikorsky.

St. Petersburg’s snowmobiles, postcard dated 1914

Snowmobile of viscount De Lisle

Development of Russian engineers was invaluable for Russia with its vast territories where snowy winter lasts many months. For some North areas only this transport was available.

Since 1924 aluminium models of snowmobiles were started to be produced. The construction of the vehicle became much lighter and simpler.

A. N. Tupolev made a major contribution to the development of snowmobile transport in Russia, his model made of special type of aluminium became classic.

Snowmobile transportation wasn’t more expensive than cars tranportation. Max. speed – 50km/h, average fuel consumption for 100km – 46kg.

Snowmobiles were widely used by the Russian army.

Snowmobile NKL-16 by captain Prokhorov, winter, 1943.


Snowmobile in a square of Gzhatsk, 1942-43

Scouts and NKL-16, winter 1942-43

Medical snowmobile NKL-16, model of 1937

Snowmobile RF-8 (GAZ-98)  in battle, 1943


German soldiers are studying a captured snowmobile, 1943.

Snowmobile NKL-26 in “summer shoes”, June 1944


1961 is the year when Russians produced the first amphibian snowmobile – A-3, their serial production started in 1964 and lasted for 25 years.

Snowmobile “North-2” and Ka-30 developed by K. B. Kamov in 1963.

Snowmobile mounted on “Pobeda”

They could be comfortable.

However not only snowmobiles were used in the USSR as transport means moving over snow. These are Arctic off-road vehicles  for more complicated tasks.

Smaller ones

These trucks were used for military purposes and highly important expeditions.

“Youth’s Equipment”, 1940


No other country has such machines, they are unique as spaceships, as a super computer of the future generation.

DT-30P, lifting capacity 30 tons, an amphibian vehicle

Arctic off-road vehicle “Kharkovchanka”, it was widely used by polar explorers. Some pics of the vehicle…

These wonderful machines complete difficult tasks even today!

via timemechanic

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11 responses to “Unusual Soviet Snowmobile Equipment”

  1. russia_bound says:

    Very cool pictures. Some pretty interesting designs that have molded how snowmobiles are built today. Thanks for the upload…

  2. Testicules says:

    Pretty cool retro stuff. I say bring it back for use today.

    • Arsenic says:

      Use open propellor vehicle on the Streets in europe, and you will be shot down by anti-terrorist squad before you can say”look at me”.

  3. OLUT says:

    I like the medical snowmobile. Very cool design.

  4. Boritz says:

    Why are American army equipments included in this essay?

  5. Steve says:

    Makes me think of the days of my youth in New England USA. We did the same things with our stuff then. Look at the way the units are pictured and you can see we were all proud of what was made. Wish we could have that part of it back. I love seeing inside Russia now and realize just what was missing then. Both sides were so innovative we really did give up so many things by trying to fight over the untouchables. Thank you for this site from western USA.

  6. jeiko says:

    Antartic Snow Cruiser was not soviet! It was an american vehicle. It was a massive failure and did not work at all in Antartic. And there were only one.


  7. ara says:

    OMG i want one,that snowmobile is soo cool

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