SNOW From a young age was fond of technology and like most boys, dreamed of being a pilot. But, like many, for a number of reasons they did not, and acquired the specialty of a mechanic. However, it is also a favorite field for me is not extinguished the desire to somehow get closer to aviation…

In memory often pop up the miracle machine, which I saw in the military 1944, as a boy, in his native village of Alekseevka in Tambov. Remember her open body (like the fuselage of an old airplane) on three skis, in front of the driver, his seat—two military weapons, and then — a compartment for cargo. But the most important and obscure — motor with a propeller (the same as the plane), but high and behind. As I learned later, the wonder machine called a snowmobile, and came-she flew with a reserve military airfield, is located ten kilometers from the village.
Later, in the late 1950s, I once again had to see the snowmobile. The back was closed, ski — already four engine aircraft. They belonged to the cultural Department of the local Executive Committee. In the winter the roads they drove through the villages of the field equipment. Again I was entranced. But now with the possibility of trying to understand and design. And when you understand it all, decided to make at least a small snowmobile.
My first design, made in 1962, was a single open snowmobile (or rather to say — aeronorte) with the engine of the motorcycle IZH-49 with a capacity of 11.5 HP body shell (he also served as a frame) was made of a steel angle 15×15 mm. Three wooden skis handwritten production was located according to the classical scheme: front guide is in the middle of the car and the rear sides. The propeller — pusher, two-bladed, wooden, home-made, with a diameter of 1300 mm. the operation of the sled showed that the engine, even for such a light sled is rather weak, there were mistakes in the choice of the profile of the screw. In General, it’s a saying: the first pancake — lumpy.
Snowmobile AK-3 with the body of the sidecar С3А and the engine from the car
Snowmobile AK-3 with the body of the sidecar С3А and the engine from the car “Moskvich-407” at the top of the pole
Snowmobile AK-4 with engine from GAZ-21
Snowmobile AK-4 with engine from GAZ-21 “Volga”, located on the frame, and a V-belt transmission of rotation of the screw
The second snowmobile was made in 1964. They are already designed with the power unit capacity of 22 HP of the motorcycle M-72. Body frame is welded of steel thin-walled pipes with a diameter of 40 mm. the body outdoor double, the location of the driver and passenger according to the scheme of tandem (one after another). Screw diameter 2100 mm, wooden, too, of our own making. Three homemade wooden skis were several unusual — about the same as the wheels on the motorcycle with a lateral trailer (pram): one of the rear of the ski (left) went on the trail of the front rail and the other rear (right) was located slightly ahead of the left. The positioning of the skis provided a convenient movement of the snowmobile on already full tracks.
But for climbing up steep slopes, fresh snow or swollen in the thaw of the snow engine power again was not enough, because before the next winter season replaced it with the motor from the car “Moskvich-407” with a capacity of 45 HP Only installed it on the pole at the top and at the bottom of the underframe. The transfer of torque from the engine to the propeller was carried out by four V-belts. Belts failed often stretched, slipped, torn. Yes, and the scheme of installation of skis (type of motorcycle with a sidecar) was not justified: the stability of the sled left much to be desired — and it is at the lower position of the engine.
Photos mentioned snowmobile was not preserved, and drawings are simply not there — everything is done “in place”. Besides, it was a significant experience in building planes, but negative.
All these shortcomings cannot be corrected at the available designs, and this, in turn, convinced me to manufacture the third car. Called it AK-3: your initials and sequence number.
It was built in 1966. For the body used the body of three-wheeled motorized С3А he predestined and the scheme snowmobiles: trahlyta classic as the first model. The body is altered — reduced width of 300 mm and mounted on a carrier frame of the red ring of steel pipes. Though he remained, as in the scooter, double, only now the passenger located behind the driver.
The engine used from the “Moskvich-407” with a capacity of 45 HP, removed from the previous design. Just now mounted it on the pole. Torque with its output shaft on the screw passed through the makeshift gear reducer with a gear ratio of i=2 and is fixed to the clutch cover.
Screw snowmobiles — modular design with the possibility of regulating the step in the Parking lot. Blades taken from the propeller plane the Yak-18U and cropped to a diameter of 2100 mm. the Sleeve is screw — cut, own designs. The blades crucialis into the holes of the sleeve and controles (bushing at the ends were clamped together with clamps). Note that this design of propeller “bushing + blade” I used on all previous snowmobile.
Snowmobile AK-5
Snowmobile AK-5:
1 — bushing of the propeller (from the Yak-18U); 2 — blade propeller (from the Yak-18A, cropped, 2); 3 — the engine M11-FR 160 HP (from the Yak-18U); 4 — reducer; 5 — tank capacity 20 l; 6 — searchlight (from the farm); 7 — running lights (4 PCs); 8 — the airspeed indicator (aircraft); 9 — track light (2 PCs.); 10 — the door (2 PCs); 11 — ski (from Yak-12,4 PCs); 12 — thrust and steering arms; 13 — the plug screw is left-handed (right — mirrored); 14 — under engine frame-pole; 15 — rear beam; 16 — the lever of the rear suspension; 17 — rear shock absorber; 18 — front shock absorber; 19 — Pb;chug front suspension; 20 — front beam; 21 — body (cabin from the fuselage of the Yak-12, revised)

Layout scheme of the body of the snowmobile AK-5
Layout scheme of the body of the snowmobile AK-5:
1 — driver seat; 2 — the front passenger seat; 3-pit; 4 — Luggage compartment; 5 — fuel tank capacity 90 l

Steering control scheme of the AK-5
Steering control scheme of the AK-5:
1 — steering wheel with column and shaft; 2 — steering; 3 — time; 4 — arm front suspension (2 PCs); 5 — management front ski (2); 6 — front shock absorber (2 PCs); 7 — General steering rod; 8 — steering rod the front of the ski (2); 9 — swing-arm; 10 — pendulum-shaft; 11 — duplici pendulum arm (2 PCs.); 12 — tie-rod rear skis (2); 13 — rear guide rail a ski (2); 14 — lever rear suspension (2 PCs); 15 — rear shock absorber (2 PCs.); 16 — rear beam; 17 — pendulum bearing shaft (2 PCs); 18 — front beam; 19 ^— body (shown schematically)

The location of controls and instruments in the driver's seat and front panel
The layout of the controls and instruments in the driver’s seat and on the front panel:
1 — throttle 2 — brake pedal; 3 — engine start button; 4 — the air valve; 5 — magneto switch; 6 — pressure gauges, petrol and oil, temperature of oil; 7 — tachometer; 8 — temperature gauge cylinders; 9 — speed indicator; 10 — air pressure gauge; 11 — voltammeter; 12 — switch; 13 — steering wheel

Design of air propeller in the Parking lot
The design of air propeller in the Parking lot:
1 — the blade (from the Yak-18U, cropped); 2 — the butt of the blade (steel, 2pcs); 3 — clip (steel, 2pcs); 4 — bushing (steel)

Skis — wood, own design. Rear mounted on a frame via dampers borrowed from the tail wheel of the aircraft An-2. Guide ski was installed on the reworked shock strut of a landing gear of the Yak-18U.
The operation of the snowmobiles during the four winters showed the reliability of the design. Good speed and quality — under full load and even with a passenger in the car was developed to 60 km/h. However, there were drawbacks. First of all, for a given mass the width of the ski was already insufficient, that is why the sled was sinking in the snow. Suspension ski was for the same mass harsh. However, the design of the shock absorbers allow reduced air pressure, but then they started to work with “failures”. But the main flaw was the fact that it is still to overcome the steep climbs and deep loose snow was not enough engine power.
To eliminate the above shortcomings, decided to upgrade snowmobiles have been so deep that there was, in fact, a new, fourth car.
The main change is the replacement moskovichevskoe engine volgovskoe 75 HP With volgovskoe power unit dismantled the flywheel with the crankcase (its functions now carried out the screw) and the clutch basket.
Front ski remained the same (homemade), but adapted from the back of the aircraft Po-2, sheathing them on the soles of expanded polyethylene 100 mm tubes.
Former open body made closed (the photo shown is only the frame of the roof). Replaced and suspension, installing a hydraulic damper. Quality used hydraulic cylinders drive the valves of the bomb Bay of the aircraft Il-28. The steering mechanism was replaced with rack and pinion.
The modernization has helped to eliminate almost all disadvantages of the prototype. Improved ride, stability on the course, management was easy and confident, and the speed increased to 80 km/h.
Nearly two winters went to these snowmobile for 15 miles to the village where the school was taught technical education, engineering and driving. And first time on the sled to school almost turned into failure lessons — the curiosity of the children prevailed over discipline. Only the promise after school wanting to ride in the sled helped to put students at their desks. But this episode, I think, has awakened in the hearts of many guys if not love, then at least a big interest in technology. Subsequently, many of them are also designed machines: who mini-tractors and tillers who cars and all-terrain vehicles, and who snowmobile and snowmobile. I’m happy to provide them all assistance and advice, and deed.
But life went forward. Accumulated experience in the design of transport equipment, particularly snowmobiles, changing and increasing demands. Over time, there is a need and a strong desire to build a multi-seat snowmobile, acomfortable Yes, to them it was possible in winter, when free time more than in summer, a family with children to go to relatives or friends to visit, even in the remote countryside, where the road at this time of the year for wheeled transport becomes impassable.
To create the fifth snowmobiles approached more thoroughly. The previous machine was made from what was at hand, and a positive result was achieved “by trial and error.” For the same design of units and components were chosen though without payment, but on the basis of experience and intuition, and assemble according to pre-designed drawings.
Snowmobile quadruple and chetyrekhyadernye (with two pairs of skis). Their body used rebuilt and modified the cockpit of the Yak-12. Ahead — separate with a flip-forward seatbacks, driver and passenger, and behind them — a single seat for three people.
Snowmobile AK-5 engine M11-FR; cabin and skis from the Yak-12
Snowmobile AK-5 engine M11-FR; cabin and skiing — Yak-12
All skis are metal. They borrowed from the Yak-12 and have independent suspension. The frame of the skis are mounted on the aircraft stands with shock absorbers. All of them, and the front and rear — steering and the soles have two podraza.
The steering mechanism of GAZ-51, with a shortened column, the rest of the details and nodes of the control — homemade. At the basis of the snowmobile in 3120 mm minimum turning radius is only 5.5 M.
The propeller — diameter is 2100 mm, the bushing is used from the Yak-18U, and shortened the blades from the Yak-18A.
Five-cylinder radial engine model M-11FR 160 HP, rebuilt literally from scrap metal on their own, too from the Yak-18U, installed on the pylon. It is launched by compressed air pressure of 50 ATM. from the compressor, the ignition — from the induction coil and is regulated by the electropneumatic valve. The capacity of the power plant, its own mass snowmobiles 850 kg, allows the driver and three passengers to take on Board up to 500 kg of cargo.
During the tests, the snowmobile at full load showed a speed of 100 km/h. But this is not the limit — most did not allow to develop the terrain. Gradeability is 20 degrees, and to descend the sled can and on an incline up to 40 degrees.
Operation of snowmobiles was not confined to pleasure trips, trips to visit or to work. Repeatedly had to assist the delivery of patients from rural areas to the district hospital or back during the winter off-road. With the help of the sled was solved some economic problems, and in difficult times even budget.
Six years (or winters) are pretty intensive operation showed good ride quality of the snowmobile. But in fairness, it should be noted imperfections: first of all it concerns the poor stability, lack of management efficiency on the ice, as well as some inconsistency traction characteristics of the engine and propeller in different modes of operation.
All these disadvantages were apparent only at speeds over 90 — 100 km/h These speeds I developed only to the test. These snowmobiles as well, and the next, in difficult financial times, I was sold. But by that time I already had another engine AI-14R, the fuselage and skis from the Yak-18A, is also charged and later restored me. They served as the basis for creating a new design snowmobile — AK-6. But this is a topic for another story.
A. KNYAZEV, Rasskazovo, Tambov region

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