THE FIRSTBORN OF THE RUSSIAN AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY

FIRSTBORN OF THE RUSSIAN AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRYThe Russo-Baltic wagon factory (RBVZ) became the leader of Russian automobile industry in the early XX century. Founded in 1874 in Riga, is a large engineering company produced steam and horse threshing machines, seeders, plows, stationary oil and kerosene combustion engines, passenger and freight cars, trams, artillery limbers, and, later, cars and airplanes designed by I. I. Sikorsky. By 1912 the territory of the company, has a capital of 9.6 million rubles, was already 20 acres, and fifty shops of the plant worked 553 of the machine, which worked 4,000 people.

 

In 1907 the Chairman of the Board RBWS engineer M. V. Shidlovsky has proposed to expand the plant to produce cars, and in 1908, the company was organized by the Department, the head of which was appointed engineer I. A. Fryazinovsky. The cars Directorate RBWS considered as an essential tool in the period when the state orders for manufacturing of wagons declined sharply, forcing plant management to reduce the number of workers to 1,800 people.
 
FIRSTBORN OF THE RUSSIAN AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY
 
For the position, as we would say in our time, “the chief designer” invited by the Swiss engineer Julien Potter, who previously worked in Belgium on a little-known automobile enterprise Fondue. By the time Potter has developed several cars, showing yourself in this wonderful designer and technologist.
 
Production in the automotive Department RBWS organized in accordance with the latest European principles – instead of the archaic inch-vershkova-pound Russian system of measures, there was introduced a modern metric for measuring the dimensions of parts used calibers, and the nodes destined for a specific series of cars are brought to full interchangeability.
Under the automotive production was allocated to a new plant area of 4,000 people.
 
In 1907 the Chairman of the Board RBWS engineer M. V. Shidlovsky has proposed to expand the plant to produce cars, and in 1908, the company was organized by the Department, the head of which was appointed engineer I. A. Fryazinovsky. The cars Directorate RBWS considered as an essential tool in the period when the state orders for manufacturing of wagons declined sharply, forcing plant management to reduce the number of workers to 1,800 people.
 
The first departure of the most popular RBFS car
First check out the most popular RBFS car “Russo-Balt” C24-40 with a body of type “torpedo”
 
“Russian-Baltic” issue of 1909
 
For the position, as we would say in our time, “the chief designer” invited by the Swiss engineer Julien Potter, who previously worked in Belgium on a little-known automobile enterprise Fondue. By the time Potter has developed several cars, showing yourself in this wonderful designer and technologist.
 
Production in the automotive Department RBWS organized in accordance with the latest European principles – instead of the archaic inch-vershkova-pound Russian system of measures, there was introduced a modern metric for measuring the dimensions of parts used calibers, and the nodes destined for a specific series of cars are brought to full interchangeability.
 
Under the automotive production was highlighted in the new workshop area
 
250 m2, which was acquired 142 modern machine. By the end of 1910, as the unfolding of the production area had to increase to 700 m2. In addition, in the automotive Department, where he worked 154, also included foundry, forging, body, stain and stamping, Wallpaper-painting and spring workshop, as well as Metalworking and Assembly departments. Furthermore, the car RBWS Department had its own mechanical and testing laboratories.
 
Design and principal dimensions of the car
Design and basic dimensions of the car “Russo-Balt” C24-40 with a body of type “torpedo”
 
Russian military Ministry is interested in the procurement of vehicles for the army, considered RBVS as a credible supplier. That is why at the end of 1910, the management of military messages of the General staff sent to the company for a comprehensive inspection of captain P I. Secretive -he examined the plant and found it suitable for the annual production of 300 cars. In his report he noted that RBVS all parts, components and assemblies manufactures for them yourself – only purchased pressure gauges, radiator and magneto.
 
The first car, dubbed the “Russo-Baltic” (“Russo-Balt” he stage later), was made in June, 1909. The plant management had planned to release three models of cars with 4-cylinder engines working volume of 2,211 l, 4,501 l and 7,235 liters.
 
The design of these machines was quite modern, using the most innovative trends in automotive engineering at the time. The basis of the car was a sturdy Loon-Gerona frame with the leaf spring suspension of the wheels. Gearbox was mounted separately from the engine, but in order in the deformation of the frame (e.g., during off-road) is not compromised the alignment of both units, the motor and gearbox were fixed on the additional frame.
 
On the cars of those years, the weight distribution was 40×60, that is a significant part of the total mass of the car had on the rear wheels, with suspension of the rear axle was designed perhaps more soft, with great throw – on the most low model rear axle connected to the frame with 3/4-elliptic leaf springs. Another, more common model, had the suspension the rear axle on three interconnected semi-elliptic leaf springs: two longitudinal and one transverse. The largest model had a suspension on semi-elliptic leaf springs lengths. As for the front wheel, then all three models used a pair of longitudinal semi-elliptic leaf springs.
 
Car
The car “Russo-Balt” C24-40 with a body type “limousine”
 
Car
The car “Russo-Balt” C24-40, equipped with skis and propeller designs A. Kegress
 
Scheme a ski-track vehicle
Scheme of the ski-track car
 
The wheels were fixed, with wooden spokes; steering mechanism used a worm gear; a distribution mechanism – niginalovely fuel from the rear tank was carried out under the pressure of the exhaust it the exhaust gas; the ignition system used a magneto; the cylinder head was fixed; the clutch – cone type; brakes with a mechanical drive installed only on the rear wheels – all these features of construction are not different from “Russo-Balta” from most cars of the time.
 
At the same time on cars RBVZ used a lot of advanced designs that have been applied for the first time. So, all gears transmission, main transmission, and the wheel rotated not in sleeves and ball bearings, and torque transmission to the drive wheels is carried out by a chain, as on many cars of the time, and via a cardan shaft. And yet-the crankcases of the engine and the gearbox was cast aluminum alloy.
On the chassis all models were equipped with the following types of a body: double-Phaeton, torpedo, limousine, and landole. They were made as separate series, and on individual orders: double sports, limousines with closed driver’s cab.
 
The chassis of the car
The chassis of the car “Russo-Balt” C24-40 (bottom view)
 
Technical characteristics of the car
Technical characteristics of the car “Russo-Balt” C24-40
 
The model was periodically updated, and each batch of similar machines (from two to one hundred pieces), or, as it the plant was named the series had its own serial number. Designated model letters, with the addition of four digits: the first two indicated the estimated engine power in horsepower, the other two are a real power. So, the smallest model with an engine cylinder capacity cm3 2211 is designated as K12-15 (1909 – 1910), K12-20 (1911 – 1913) and K12-24 (1914). In just six years RBWS released 141 the car.
 
The most mass model with an engine cylinder capacity cm3 4501 also produced in several versions: C24-30 (1909 – 1912gg.), C24-35 (1912 – 1914), C24-40 (1913 -1918.). The car model “C” made in 347 and copies, for the most part received into the Russian army.
 
The biggest machine factory “Russo-Balt” 40-60 with an engine cylinder capacity cm3 7235 – was made only in a few instances.
 
Since 1914 RBWS began to release another passenger model – E15-35. It was equipped with an open body “torpedo” have been reported, mostly in the army – in all there were about 70 such vehicles.
 
“Russo-Balt” K12-20 was the first car plant, which are all four cylinder engines were made in a single unit, and the valves were located only on the left side of it. The cooling system of the engine was the thermosyphon circulation of water due to temperature difference in the external block and the radiator.
 
The machine was equipped with three-stage gearbox. Engine power model K12-20 was 15 BHP (1911 – 20 HP) at engine speed of 1500 rpm and 24 HP at 1600об/min (in 1914). Tire size: 810×90 mm to 1910 and 810×100 mm in subsequent years. The wheelbase of the car – 2655 mm (up to 1911) and 2855 mm later. Curb vehicle weight -1190 kg in 1909 increased to 1230 kg in 1914. Speed “Russo-Balt” K12-20 – was 50 km/h (up to 1911) and 60 km/h later. Fuel capacity is 53 litres, average consumption is 16.5 l per 100 km.
 
There are also sports modification K12-30 of issue, 1913. The working volume of its engine was increased to 2422 cm3, capacity up to 30 L. E., and the highest speeds of up to 105 km/h.
 
“Russo-Balt” C24-30 and “Russo-Balt” C24-40 for engine design is not fundamentally differed: bilateral location of the valves, are cast in two blocks of cylinders, the water circulation in the cooling system with a pump. The crankshaft bearings lubrication filed gear oil pump. The rest of the details smeared with oil mist in the crankcase of the engine. To adjust the supply of lubricant served as needle valves with a control glass vials.
 
Since 1912, replaced the carb production RBWS came branded “Zenith”, the compression ratio had increased to 4 units, was introduced by the adjustable tappets and changed the Cam profile of the camshaft. All this allowed to increase the engine power from 30 to 35 HP at a constant engine speed of 1200 rpm Later, in 1913, the power of the engine is brought to 40 HP
 
Transmission was originally a three, but since 1914 the number of gears increased to four. In the same period, vans began to recruit new rear axles with the axle shafts of equal length (above right were 60 mm long).
 
Until 1910 the front and rear tires of the model C24-30 were different: 870×90 mm front and rear 880×120 mm. it was Believed that stronger loaded rear wheels better fit the wider tires. Accordingly, drivers had to carry two spare tyres of various sizes. To get rid of this oddity in the design of the car was able in 1911 to establish a single tire size -880×120 mm.
 
The modernization model C24-30 and changed the value of the wheelbase. Until 1912 it amounted to 3160 mm, and then increased to 3165 mm, which was associated with the length change of springs. While in 1913 “Russo-Balta” C24-40 began to be manufactured with a long base in 3305 mm.
 
The mass of the car model “C” with an open body from year to year differed from the insertion of improvements: in 1910 it amounted to 1540 kg, then, in 1911 – 1914 – 1850 kg on models C24-and C24 30-35 as well as 1950 kg model C24-40 after 1914. The car’s top speed was 65 to 75 km/h and fuel consumption 20 to 25 liters per 100 kilometers.
 
Based on the model “C” in 1911 was created the racing and sports cars with engines, for the first time in the world equipped with aluminum pistons. The working volume of the engine of one of these machines (C24-58) reached 5033 cm3, the power was 58 BHP at engine speed 1800 rpm Racing “Russo-Balt” with this engine in the spring of 1913 in the race one mile away from the start of a stroke has a top speed of 130 km/h.
“Russo-Balt” C24-58 was fitted with the upgraded engine C24 (with the diameter of the cylinders increased from 105 to 107 mm and a stroke, brought from 130 to 140 mm).
 
Using the invention of the French engineer A. Kegress, who worked in St. Petersburg, a few cars models C24-40 factory equipped with half-track the progress of his design. Instead of the rear wheels on this car had a truck with rubber caterpillar tracks, reinforced cotton cord. The rotation of the axle shafts of the vehicle to the leading wheels of the truck passed the chains. The front wheels are winter equipped with skis. Preliminary calculations showed that the specific pressure of the tracks with a width of 385 mm at the snow or ground will be about 0.1 kgf/cm2.
 
The whole set was quite heavy – about 490 kg. But the possibility of movement on soft ground was obscured significant deficiencies in the design, especially noticeable when driving in the offseason. So, leading the drums to slip on the rubber band, and between them was Packed snow and mud. In the end, the caterpillar has torn or come off. However, on rolled snowy road half-track “Russo-Balt”, as the test showed, could reach the speed of 60 km/h and easily passed through the virgin snow.
 
In addition to the automobile bodies “Russo-Balta” family “With” was fitted with special bodies. It was the wagons for transporting the wounded, generator sets, ambulances, cargo bed for 1 ton of cargo, etc.
 
Very interesting was the car “Russo-Balt” E15-35, engineered to replace the C24-40 and the excellence of design superior to its predecessor. First of all, the engine is made in monoblock configuration of the cylinders; valves its (side, like the other machines release RBVS) were mounted only on the left. The timing was carried out silent plate chain instead of gears – a drive design has been revived in our country only in 1945 on the engine of the car ZIS-110.
 
In the cooling system of air supply, in addition to the four-bladed fan was also produced flywheel, equipped with spiral spokes. Was also modified and lubrication oil to all the friction couples filed a pump, and the oil reserve was not a separate oil tank, as well as in a modern engine, in the sump.
 
Four-speed transmission, clutch with reverse cone and worm steering gear used on E15-35, were widespread in automotive engineering. Less dated design of the propeller shaft, enclosed in a tube, which is rigidly, without joint, connected with the beam rear axle and transmit push forces directly on the crossmember of the frame. On the rear springs, these efforts have not passed, and the ends of each of the springs connected to the frame of the earrings. Another interesting element is also new for RBVS – use in the front suspension rubber dampers.
 
The width of the model E15-35 remains the same as the C24-40, although the track was increased to 1400 mm up To 3250 mm lengthened wheelbase, which allowed to comfortably accommodate the larger body three rows of seats.
 
Engine model E15-35 working volume 3684 cm3 developed capacity of 35 HP at engine speed 1500 Rev/min allowed the car, unladen weight of which does not exceed 1500 kg (recall, C24-40 – 1950 kg), to reach the speed of 75 km/h. in addition, the machine was 25% cheaper C24-40, spending 18 liters of gasoline per 100 km.
 
In addition to cars, RBFS was designed and trucks. The first was the M24-35 lifting capacity 2 tons, released at the end of 1912. Almost all parts of the vehicle except the engine, borrowed from the automobile model “C” series, were created anew – including transmission and radiator.
 
A year later, the truck has upgraded the capacity of the engine is brought up to 40 L. E., made a new radiator and installed the cockpit with awning. On the basis of the truck was also issued a 12-seater buses, tanks, and in the beginning of the First world war – armored with a machine gun.
 
Almost simultaneously with the family “M” on RBUS organized the production of cheaper truck chassis family “D”, is widely standardized across nodes with models Д24-35 and A24-35. However, the “Russo-Balt” Д24-35 had a completely different frame, and front and rear axles. Curb weight of the car with a loading platform was 1648 kg, speed – 40 km/h, the consumption of gasoline -26 liters per 100 km.
 
On the base of “Russo-Balta” Д24-35 (after the upgrade – Д24-40) was also produced cars with closed bodies, postal vans, health coaches and fire trucks.
 
RBWS in order to ensure stable sales of the vehicles responsive to the interests of the Ministry of war. The fact that in those years the further development of the auto industry on RBUS guaranteed first military orders. And when the army needed a powerful truck-tractor to transport 4-5 tonnes of military equipment, as well as for towing artillery limber and gun, a car rapidly established on RBUS, and in may 1913 the truck under the name “Russo-Balt” T40-65 enrolled in the trial. With a wheelbase 3650 mm track mm 1910 “Russo-Balt” T40-65 looked very solid NYM tractor – its curb weight was 4,320 kg, it can move in the speed range from 8 to 20 km/h, while consuming 56 liters of gasoline per 100 km.
 
From June 1909 to September 1915 RBWS released 625 cars. Annually, the plant could give 300 – 350 cars, and the increasing demand to increase their production. It should be noted that annual production volumes RBWS almost did not depart from well known European factories.
 
“Russo-Balt” 10-24 – one of the first trucks release RBWS
 
The armored car on the chassis of the truck release RBVS with broncobeat Izhora plant

The armored car on the chassis of the truck release RBVS with broncobeat Izhora plant
 
With the beginning of the First world war the tsarist government attended to the creation of the Russian armored car. To do this, planned the chassis of cars “Russo-Balt” to equip the hulls of production Izhora plant. However, when the front approached Riga, RBVZ had to evacuate – in particular, the automotive section of the plant was sent to Moscow. And in the empty shops RBWS during the period of the first Republic of Latvia settled numerous artisanal workshops. In 1990-e years in territory of the former RBUS appeared cooperative with the name “Russo-Balt” produces trailers to passenger cars.
 
However, back in 1916, when the Board of Directors RBWS purchased for evacuated plant near Moscow, the estate Pokrovskoe-Fili. And on July 1 opened a “Second automobile factory “Russo-Balt”. After a year the decree of the Council of people’s Commissars, the factory was nationalized and renamed “First state armored plant”. In 1922, the components of the backlog were collected five cars “Russo-Baltic”, and 29 January, 1923, the plant was transferred to the concession company “Junkers” that began there the production of all-metal aircraft, u-20 and u-21.
 
In 2002, automotive Atelier A:Level made an attempt to recreate namenity Russian car brand by launching a competition of design projects of car “based on” cars of the 1930 – 1940s. The winner of the competition was declared Zviad the tsikoliya – his project became the basis of the new car, called the Russo-Baltique Impression.
 
The concept car was created in 2006 in cooperation with the German company German Gerg GmbH. The car was shown in Europe at the competition Concorso d’eleganza Villa d’este 2006 and at the Geneva motor show in 2007. Some technical data of the car: 12-qi-lendrevie the power unit Mercedes-Benz with a double turbocharger with a capacity of 555 L. E., 6-speed automatic transmission, air suspension. The car was supposed to produce small batches: 10 – 15 copies per year at a price of 1.8 million dollars per copy. Unfortunately, the production car has not yet started.
Igor EBCTPATOB

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