The Antarctic Snow Cruiser




here's something from Pre War (the second one) America.

This baby was seen as the best option for Transit in Antarctica.

Take a look...

Pics from here



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Snow cruiser, 1930s

How it was suposed that light aircraft to be stored in the roof after operation? A winch?
How it was suposed that light aircraft to be stored in the roof after operation? A winch?

Wooden ramps and a winch on the roof of the Cruiser to pull it up. The Planes wheels would sit in a set of depressions on the roof and the Cruiser had tie-down points to secure the aircraft. IIRC they wrecked the ramps trying to use them to move the Cruiser from the ship and the plane didn't make the shipment timetable.

The Soviets built something along similar lines - but theirs worked, and ended up being used for 50 years.


They initially used AT-T artillery tractors (with the track system, engine and transmission of the T-54 tank). The Kharkovchanka was a derivative, with more road wheels, wider tracks, a turbocharged engine and a cabin integrated into the living compartment. 3 were built.


It was about 9 m long and 3.5 m wide, weighing 35 tons. It had accommodation for 8. The engine could be serviced from inside. These were used for regular trips between the Soviet antarctic camps, and for science trips, with at least one epic journey of 5000 km from the base camp to the geographic south pole.
They had some drawbacks: fuel consumption was enormous (10 l/km), and servicing the engine and transmission from inside meant access was tight. They were used alongside AT-Ts, and in the end the AT-T were used more often.

They were ultimately replaced with a second-generation vehicle using a similar chassis.


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One little detail in the image snowcruiser_05.jpg caught my attention. The kitchen doubles as the darkroom? I spent time in darkrooms in my younger days. I have to wonder how any lingering traces and odors of the darkroom chemicals would affect the taste of the food.
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