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.
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!