Amazing ZiL Vehicle to Bring Spacemen Back Home


Meet the “Blue Bird”, that must be the best ZiL vehicle ever made. Though one can get inside only through a hatch on its top. Such projects usually end with disappointment, but the “Blue Bird” is an exception. 


ZiL-49061 was made to search and transport landing sections (capsules) required to bring cosmonauts back to the Earth after a flight to space. As you never know how remote and wild the places of their landing could be…

Such vehicles are based in Chelyabinsk, Russia – 10 units in general. They are transported by An-12 aircrafts to a place of a supposed landing, where they begin working.


150 hp engine – almost the same as used for ZiL-130.


The folding wing is used when the vehicle is sailing, one can walk on it.


They had to make light offroad spacious vehicles that also can swim. And they perfectly did the job. The body of the ZiL is made from fiberglass.


At its length of nine meters the vehicle has six wheels.


First aid stuff. The vehicle is actually made for long journeys as it has everything required.


Heater, air conditioner, comfortable seats and even curtains – quite cozy.


The main equipment hides under the seats. Up to seven persons may accommodate here with comfort.


The crew should consist of three members.


The “Bird” may freely contact other vehicles, helicopters and even cosmonauts.


The speed when moving on asphalt may reach 75 km/h which is not bad for its weight of nine tons and 150 hp engine.


Amazing, but these vehicles are still in use. The final amphibian model was manufactured 27 years ago but they maintain the vehicles and treat them with care despite the fact that ZiL factory closed many years ago.

I wish I was a cosmonaut to ride the Blue Bird in Russian wilderness!

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