RAPID SNOW RAIDSNOWMOBILE RF-8-GAZ-98SNOWMOBILE RF-8-GAZ-98. Snowy and cold winter of 1941/42 created the conditions for widespread use we combat and transport equipment. “Hint” the Russian winter has been perceived by our troops. In January 1942, in many parts of the fronts in the suburbs, in the area of Staraya Russa, in the North-Western front we had the first units. Off-road combat and transport battalions, equipped with the appropriate types of planes, got into the hands of one of the main trumps of the war — the mobility and speed of movement. In the most unexpected for the enemy areas is rapidly emerging, and conducted a successful combat operation of our units. The enemy were guarding the road — snowmobiles appeared due to impassable snow drifts. The effect of surprise, the transience of the battle behind enemy lines produce a striking effect on the Nazis. Meanwhile, transport the snowmobile ride of the new Marines that had secured the success of the operation.

Some features combat tactics and technical equipment of a snowmobile of the type NC-36, vehicles NKL-16/41, NKL-16/42 we already told on pages of our magazine. Today it was the turn of another type of snowmobile, RF — 8-GAZ-98, which is associated with many bright pages of the battle history of the Soviet Army.
Snowmobile RF-8 was created OKB Narcomiscoma under the leadership of chief designer M. V. Veselovsky on the instructions of the State Defense Committee of the USSR. In creating this war machine was attended by a large group of engineers: II. F. Meyer, I. K., Chichiri, E. I. Malekhanov, A. A. Smolin, V. A. Zverev, N. A. Ronzhin, I. A. Kunaev, A. I. Smirnov, and many others.
Talented designer M. V. Veselovsky created in the period from 1932 to 1941 several types of original aerospa. Machine index GGAT-3, KM-4 and KM-5 were made parties to the communication needs and the national economy. At the beginning of November 1941 the industry was given the drawings of combat snowmobile RF-8; GKO of the USSR entrusted their production to several companies, including Gorky automobile plant.
In coordination with the chief designer of motorists made to the drawings, a number of changes to the mass production of sledges consistent with the adopted plant technology and available materials. This work was conducted under the direct supervision of the chief designer of the plant A. A. Lipgart. Working on the car participated A. D. Prosvirin, A. M. Kriger, A. V. Kostin, V. I. Borisov, G. I. Krasilnikov and others.
At the end of December 1941 the first batch of vehicles of the type RF-8, which received factory index GAZ-98, has already entered many sectors of the front. They were stocked we combat battalions.
Fig. 1. General view of the snowmobile RF-8-GAZ-98.
Fig. 1. General view of the snowmobile RF-8-GAZ-98.
Fig. 2. The layout of the snowmobile RF-8-GAZ-98
Fig. 2. The layout of the snowmobile RF-8-GAZ-98:
1 — ski, 2 — hull, 3 — headlight, 4 — machine gun 5 — ring turrets, 6 — mounting bracket machine gun, 7 ammunition cartridges, 8 — steering column, 9 — upper bracket, 10 — steering wheel, And windscreen, 12 — fuel tank, 13, farm fencing screw, 14 — water radiator, 15 — radiator cap, 16 — propeller, 17 the engine hood, 18 — engine, 19 — reduction gear, 20 — bushing of the propeller 21 — pylon, 22 — battery 23 — rear strut, 24 — rear drive axle, 25 — rear ski, 26 — brake mechanism, 27 — ski pylon, 28 — joint, 29 — unloading brace, 30 — feed fuel tank mounting, 31 — knot on the case, 32 — seat, 33 — cable and rollers control 34 — front strut 35 to the control arm, 36 — ring fastening sleeve pig ski, a 37 — rotary drive axle, 38 — main semi-axis, 39 — lateral control rod, 40,41 — upper and lower suspension components, 42 — a shelf to store ammunition.

A distinctive feature of the snowmobile RF-8-GAZ-98 was that they were not equipped with aviation, and much more cheap production car engine GAZ-M-1 production of the Gorky automobile plant. In addition, they set a two-bladed metal propeller. The presence of the screws from the metal significantly expanded the possibility of their use. This machine is passed through copses, not terrible she was and forest roads, where other types of snowmobiles with less durable wooden propeller used could not.
Snowmobile RF-8-GAZ-98, as a more reliable, widely used on the fronts for combat and intelligence operations. They went behind enemy lines and alone, and fighting divisions. On account of the hundreds of successful operations, the implementation of important tasks on communications of staff with advanced military units, delivery of urgent reports, patrolling of individual sections of the front, protection of strategically important objects.
Combat snowmobile RF-8-ГА3-98 is designed to be placed on chetyrehstennoy scheme with two guided skiing. Housing semi-open, double, sequential arrangement of the seats for the crew. For ease of firing is installed on the snowmobile with a machine gun and to increase the horizontal angle of fire arrows was located in the front seat, and the driver of the car in the rear cockpit. There is a steering wheel, foot gas pedal, brakes, swing machines, etc. Behind the cab on a special pylon-rotor setting placed down inside the hull, fuel tank and battery.
Suspension front and rear independent ski performed on a pyramid scheme — the installation of the ski on the axle with spring suspension struts. Fastening of hangers to the power nodes on the body is via a swivel. Skis are fixed bushings hogs on the axle shafts by means of steel rings, which counter the cone bolts.
The steering column with the steering wheel with the drum for winding the steering cable is attached to the casing upper and lower nodes.
Fig. 3. Pylon-rear ski
Fig. 3. Pylon-rear ski:
1 — ski the back, 2 — back plate pin 3 — bracket, 4 — brake oscillating arm, 5 — plug, 6 — screw tension clutch, 7 — thrust, 8 — roller brake cable, 9 — brake cable, 10 — bracket, 11 — Bush hog, 12 — back spring 13 — the case of the hog, 14 — nuts and bolts mounting the horn, 15 — bolt brake pin.

Rotor installation located above the rear part of the housing and consists of motor, reducer, the shaft of which is fixed a propeller, the radiator of the water cooling system of the engine, the engine hood and the fencing of the propeller. Engine with gear and radiator are mounted on rubber shock absorbers to the wooden under-eye beams, which ends the pylon. The closed engine bonnet, opening side flaps.
Area of rotation of the propeller is limited to tubular farm fence screw, covered with bright red paint. The farm attached to the nodes on the body and the sub beam.
For the operation of snowmobile at night in the bow installed car headlight.
The case is wooden and consists of 15 cross frames, longitudinal stringers forming the frame, and plywood sheathing. Bilge stringers are attached to the frames on the screws with the installation of corner bosses and plywood brackets. In places of power nodes in the frame is glued fill.
In top trim cutouts for the cabin arrow and the driver. In the rear of the hull branch of the frames from No. 12 to 15 are transferred to the pylon, ending at the top of two wooden beams which are fastened to the uprights of the frames. These beams are the Foundation of the propeller installation. On the lower shelves of the rear frames is placed in the cradle and the attachment of the fuel tank, and also a platform for the battery. Floors in the cabins are made of thick plywood, inserted into the housing design.
Power units for fixation of the suspension skis and shock absorbers — steel alloy and are attached to the hull through bolts, installation secretly (inner side) of the metal plates.
Running gear includes skis front and rear suspensions.
Ski — composite construction, flat, rectangular in plan form. Consist of the housing (wooden bars. smoothly curved in the bow), the upper and lower plywood sheathing and metal framing profiles. The bottom is attached a metal chassis sole, which runs a steel rectangular undercut. The top is made of sheet steel welded hog with a sleeve for mounting on axle suspensions. Hog legs, bent at the bottom, and bolts with a flat head is attached to the body of the ski. Front and rear skis the same, but the rear horn has welded brackets for the installation of a swinging brake lever and a vertically placed tube-guide of the brake pin. On the side near the bushes on the rear pylon welded lugs. They are planted on the swinging cage guide roller of the brake cable, which is attached to a swinging arm fork with a threaded coupling for adjustment of the cable tension.
The front suspension consists of the main axle with the welded on its outer end the sleeve hub, which pin is mounted a rotary shaft with a seat for the sleeve of the pylon of the ski. At the upper end of this axle tapered-end bolts set the control lever skiing. The main axle shaft is welded to the chiseled ring with ears for mounting the strut tower and the brace. The ring also serves as a limiter bushing pig.
The main axle shaft, strut and brace are attached to the power nodes on the body via a swivel.
Rear suspension ski consists of axle, suspension spring strut and unloading brace, which is also connected to the power nodes swivels. The upper end of the strut is attached to the node located on the sub-bars of the pole that transmits the weight rotor installation directly through the strut tower on the skis of the snowmobile.
Control of the snowmobile by turning the front skis. Control system cable. To reduce effort when performing a maneuver on the steering wheel put the chain block. Steering column with a drum for reeling the cable is attached to the body by two brackets.
Transverse thrust ensures that the rotation of the skis at the desired angle synchronously in the direction of rotation of the steering wheel.
Traction of the propeller and braking the snowmobile allows you to adjust the speed.
In the cab on the floor placed the gas pedal and brake pedal and delay. The latter is worth much. It is used to release the sled. In Parking lots, especially on loose snow and cheese, soles of the skis freeze to the snow, with one thrust of the propeller to disrupt machines with not enough space. To break thin ice crust formed on the soles of the skis, it is necessary to slightly shift the ski to the side. The delay pedal is connected to a cable from the upper link right rear strut. Resting on the pedal, the driver compresses the spring of the shock absorber and thereby tilts the car on Board. A few pushes is enough to rock the car when it shifted to the sides and skis, Razroev holding their icy crust.
In the sled mounted serial car engine capacity of 50 HP at 2800 Rev/MIA’s with water cooling and standard units. Torque is transmitted to the propeller through a gear reducer, mounted on the cylinder block and the crankcase (clutch removed). The gearbox has two cylindrical gears. A small pinion gear on the flange of the engine crankshaft. The driven gear of larger diameter (gear ratio 0,78) placed on the shaft of the propeller, which is installed on two (bearing and bearing) ball bearing, planted in the socket housing and its cover.
The propeller blades Ø 2.35 m develops traction 205-210 lbs. Shaft located in the gear casing, above the crankshaft. This allowed to lower the engine down on the amount of center-to-center distances between the shafts and thereby reduce the overall center of gravity of the machine and to give it greater stability, especially when driving with a side roll.
Fig. 4. Front suspension — left (unassembled)
Fig. 4. Front suspension — left (unassembled):
1 — ring fastening bushing bore, 2 — axis turning, 3 — bronze bushing, 4 — cone mounting bolts of the control lever, 5 — lever, 6 — ball bolt, 7 — axis with ears mounts and strut brace, 8 — joint, 9 — fixing unit body, 10 — brace, 11 — adjusting threaded tip, 12 — bolt, 13 — a bolt of fixing the king-pin, 14 — pin, 15 — bronze washers.

The motor reducer is mounted on the sub beam of the pylon and attached at four points with paws available on the engine block and the gear housing. The front of the engine on the front ends of the beams fixed automobile water radiator. Fuel tank capacity 80 l located behind the driver’s cabin, inside the case. The tank is installed on the lodgment has the filler neck made on the plating inside the pylon.
Of special equipment the following should be noted. The upper hull plating above the front cab is simplified turret ring for mounting a machine gun. The machine gun rotates freely, providing horizontal angle of fire up to 300° and elevation angle to 14°. Under the bow plating on a specially made shelf is placed on-Board the ammunition — 10 stores of ammunition for the machine gun and grenades for close combat.
Snowmobile RF-8-GAZ-98 was modification made in 1942-1943 military engineers of brothers Ivan and Alexey Beskurnikov. In one embodiment, under engine pylon was replaced with a tubular sub frame. The snowmobile with an index of GAZ-98K car engine replaced aircraft M-11 110 HP, which made the car more dynamic. Based on the GAZ-98 was created by a staff variant with enclosed cockpit (limousine); this car had no weapons.

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