An aerosan (Russian: aэросани, aerosani, literally 'aerosled') is a type of propeller-powered snowmobile, running on skis, used for communications, mail deliveries, medical aid, emergency recovery and border patrolling in northern Russia, as well as for recreation. Aerosans were used by the Soviet Red Army during the Winter War and the Second World War.
The first aerosans may have been built by young Igor Sikorsky in 1909–10, before he built multi-engine airplanes and helicopters. They were very light plywood vehicles on skis, propelled by old airplane engines and propellers.
Military use of the aerosan goes back to at least the 1920s. During the 1939–40 Winter War against Finland, some were equipped with a machine-gun ring mount on the roof. They could carry four to five men, and tow four more on skis. The aerosans were initially used for transport, liaison, and medical evacuation in deep snow, and mostly used in open country and on frozen lakes and rivers because of their poor hill-climbing ability and limited manoeuvrability on winding forest roads.
During WWII, aerosans were found to be useful for reconnaissance and light raiding in northern areas, thanks to their high mobility in deep snow (25–35 km/h, where many vehicles couldn't move at all). Responsibility for aerosans was transferred to the Soviet Armoured Forces (GABTU) and orders were submitted for design and fabrication of lightly-armoured versions, protected by ten millimetres of steel plate on front. They were organized into transport or combat battalions of 45 vehicles, in three companies, often employed in co-operation with ski infantry. Troops were usually carried or towed by transport aerosans, while fire support was provided by the heavier machine gun-armed, armoured models. Aerosans were not used for direct assault because of their vulnerability to explosives such as mortar rounds.
The ANT-I through ANT-V were a successful series of aerosans of the 1920s and ’30s, designed by aircraft engineer Andrei Tupolev. The first military aerosans used in Finland, the KM-5 and OSGA-6 (later called NKL-6), were initially built at the Narkomles Factory in Moscow. During WWII, improved NKL-16/41 and NKL-16/42 models were built, and production started at the ZiS and GAZ car factories, and at smaller industries such as the Stalingrad Bekietovskiy Wood Works. In 1941 the armoured NKL-26, designed by M. Andreyev, started production at Narkomles. The following year, Gorki Narkorechflota developed the smaller, unarmoured GAZ-98, or RF-8, powered by a GAZ-M1 truck engine and durable metal propeller. There was also an ASD-400 heavy assault sled used in WWII.
Zaloga, Steven J., James Grandsen (1984). Soviet Tanks and Combat Vehicles of World War Two, London: Arms and Armour Press.
The ANT-IV was one of three aerosans introduced in 1924. This model, operated by a crew of two, doubled the ANT-III's 50 horsepower with its new Bristol engine, and outperformed the ANT-V's 100-horsepower Fiat engine.
In 1930 the ANT-IV began regular trips between Cheboksar and Kanash, carrying mail and priority passengers. The following year the ANT-IVs were overhauled with Soviet-produced M-11 radial aviation engines, allowing them to travel at 28 km/h.
In 1934, an ANT-IV was delivered aboard the Smolensk to Ualen where it helped rescue remotely-stranded explorers from the icebreaker Chelyuskin.
The NKL-26 was an armoured aerosan introduced by the Soviet Union during the Second World War, based on the earlier NKL-6 (OSGA-6). It was made of plywood and had a ten-millimetre armour plate on the front only, and was armed with a 7.62mm DT machine gun in a ring mount. It was powered by an M-11G aircraft engine.
The RF-8, or GAZ-98, was an aerosan used by the Soviet Union during the Second World War. The GAZ-98K was a version with a more powerful GAZ M-11 110-hp aviation engine in place of the standard automotive engine.
150mm howitzer mounted onto Vickers tank chassis
Country Codes for Adopted Foreign Equipment
a - United States
b - Belgium
e - England
f - France
h - The Netherlands
i - Italy
k - Canada
ö - Austria
p - Poland
r - Russia t - Czechoslovakia
SdKfz-251 with T-34 turret
Acetylene Training Panther
Raketenwerfer auf Fahrgestell PzKpfw IV
Ballistik-Messfahrzeug auf schwere Panzerspähwagen
Ballistic Measuring Vehicle
PzKpfw III Ausf N als Schienen-Kettenfahrzeug
Feuerleitfahrzeug für V-2 Rakenten fire control vehicle
1940 experimental V-809 Tatra All-Wheel-Drive vehicle
with 3 liter OHC in-line 4 engine
Completely unknown armored tractor prototype… captured by Germans
Ambi-Budd Werke Flying Car Concept, DELA, Berlin, 1932
SPA Radschlepper 110 PS (i) towing a V-2!!!
NSU-2 Kettenkrad half-track motorcycle
Kettenkrad towing a Me-262 jet fighter
Kettenkrad towing an Arado 234 jet bomber
TWN (Triumph Werke Nürnberg) proposed airborne scooter
The outline specification was:
Cruising range: 180 miles
Load capacity: 300lbs
Tire size: 4.00 x 7.
Captured Danish armored Harley-Davidson motorcycle
used by the Germans!
Heuschrecke 10 mobile pillbox
1935 HL K1 37mm ATG
Hitler’s experimental 1941 DRG 19.1001 train
Trans-European Wide-track Project
STRANGE VEHICLES OF PRE-WAR GERMANY
THE THIRD REICH