Russian at Northern Pole, 1950s-1960s

Russian Vintage Polar Photos

Russian people have tens of years of Polar explorations history. Something like fifty-sixty years ago they didn’t have the machines and planes like now but still some spent all year round on the Northern pole on the drifting ice platforms, because at the Northern Pole there is no land surface to build a stationary places like they do at Southern.

Many of those people already passed away. None of such situations are possible now – with lack of electricity, power supplies etc to stay at the Northernmost point of the Earth for 300+ days and don’t loose spirit.

These photos truly inspire.


Russian Vintage Polar Photos 1

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So how was that? By the way have you noticed that Willis-looking GAZ car? They were much proud of it as the first passenger car ever been on the North pole.

photos via: flickr

29 thoughts on “Russian at Northern Pole, 1950s-1960s”

  1. Cool article, in both ways!

    #6: The ‘copied-B29’ is infact a Canadian one, as there’s the Maple Leaf’s on the bottom side of the wings.

    • FFWL, Canada received six Flying Fortresses (three B-17Es and three B-17Fs) which flew 240 trans-Atlantic mail flights. No record of them having the B-29 which indeed is a Russian copy in this case. The aircraft you identify with the maple leaf is a British- made Lancaster bomber, of which Canada received several.

  2. Yep. Canuckian B-29, making sure those Russkies keep their hands off our resources! Cute bear taking a little nap under that truck…
    I have been up there in the Canadian side.

    • As if Canada could have done anything to prevent a Russian attack.

      As if Russia wanted Canada for anything.

      Chris, Vancouver, BC

      • You may want to check into the DEW line and the various American planes and other military equipment located in the Canadian North. My brother just sent me a pic of an F-22 Raptor intercepting a Bear just outside Canadian territory. Also, with the oil and minerals under and around the ice caps there is enormous interest in our soveriegn assets up there.
        Also, we wouldn’t have to win a fight with Russia. NATO would…

  3. Picture No. 15 looks a lot like Russian Hero Surgeon Leonid Rogozov.

    Are these photographs of NP Research Expeditions only or are the photographs of both Arctic and Antarctic Research Expeditions?

    Wonderful Post, Thank You!

  4. The Soviets copying an American B-29 (The Hap Arnold Special)is a well known fact. The Soviet plane is called the Tupolev TU-4 Stalin wanted that plane really bad, and got his opportunity when one made an emergency landing at a Soviet airstrip after a raid on Japan. As The USSR was neutral in the US war with Japan, it gave him opportunity to keep the plane and copy it. The Soviets copied every last detail, including a repair patch under one of the wings that was not in the original specification.

    As for the DC-3/C-47, this is the first time I have seen a Soviet copy of it anywhere, but it makes sense that they would have received them in Lend-Lease. From there, it would have been very easy to learn the specifications and copy them.

    BTW, Andrei Tupolev was an amazing mind, a genius every bit as good as someone like Kelly Johnston. If you don’t know the story of either man, look it up. It is quite interesting, to say the least.

      • Further reading on the plane revealed that it was a licensed copy, not one from corporate espionage. It seems that Aeroflot purchased several of them from McDonald/Douglas in the mid 1930’s, and along with them, the rights to build them. The Soviet variant may look similar, but they made several modifications to the original design, including a switch to metric fasteners and Soviet designed engines. Over 4,000 were produced in a variety of civilian and military versions. They were still in use in Communist militaries in the 1980’s in nations like Vietnam.

        The DC-3 is an amazing design, and is still in use by bush pilots even today. Learning about the Soviet variant was fun for me. Thanks for the article and pointing me to something new to learn about!

        • Yes, Jim-Bob, you are correct. TU-4 was a full copy of B-29. Also after Tupolev had studied B-29 he said to Stalin: we can improve it and make it better! But Stalin replied: I don’t want it in a better way I need it exactly the same! -I am not sure if this story is true but anyway copying of B-29 was a real fact.

        • Hi Jim-bob,

          @ LI-2: “Over 4,000 were produced in a variety of civilian and military versions. They were still in use in Communist militaries in the 1980’s in nations like Vietnam.”

          One has been restored in Hungary some years ago – now she is the only airworthy Li-2 in the world, as far as I know. It appears time to time on airshows all over Europe.

          http://www.airplane-pictures.net/image49961.html
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWWZhzAuDV8&feature=related

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  6. That body of the DC3/copy looks very like one found by the BBC Top Gear team, when they drove an Arctic Trucks Toyota Hilux to the north pole – so it seems it is still there! Interesting photos!

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