This story happened exactly 70 years ago, and in Europe it really did not see: there was already the second global war. Well, the end of the unique Antarctic rover the size of a cruiser was sad he … drowned. And maybe, by the way, not drowned. But to come back to this point to the old days long since past is already so huge as in the construction of the car used a technology that is now just being introduced.
The lights went out, flashed the first shots an old chronicle: 1934, in the icy wilderness of Antarctica brave polar explorer Rear Admiral Richard Byrd doom awaits death in a hut, cut off from the world the terrible nepogoditsoy which in these places, at the South Pole, is a frequent . Again and again, his friend and assistant Dr. Thomas Poulter tries to break through to the admiral 123 miles on tractors, snowmobiles. And finally, the third attempt crowned success, although the forces at rescuers and rescued little remains. End credits.
Specifically, in 1934 Poulter and purposed to make special trips to the mc for the pole, which could not be creepy or ice storms or 80 degrees of frost, no dangerous bottomless cracks, covered with a thin layer of frozen snow (firn). The engine and the crew had to be protected from nepogoditsy and cold, and people — to have enough room for a long time (weeks or months) stay in the car, the car itself has to be markedly longer than the width of an average cleft, otherwise fail.
Poulter was the usual Yankees, in other words, not only the physicist, and resourceful entrepreneur. In any case, he assured Congress that such Snow Cruiser («Snow Cruiser") to build not only possible, but also necessary, and will cost the whole idea in some 150,000 dollars, which also give private investors. Poulter asked the government only anything: pay the costs of the expedition itself and the transfer of the Leviathan to Antarctica and back.
Impact of imperialism building
Snow Cruiser Construction began August 8, 1939 at the Chicago plant Pullmann, and only for the construction, testing and delivery to the port … took 11 weeks! October 24 cruiser was almost ready. Anyway, so that would be my throttle down for 17 00 miles to Boston to be loaded onto a ship North Star («Polar Star"). Belatedly it by 15 November — and, one unique expedition of Admiral Byrd fell to. Only Imagine for yourself on the highway bright red 34-ton monster length of 17 meters, a height of 4.9 meters and a width of 6 meters.
November 1, 1939. A rare color image "Cruiser" drives in Ohio
I had to block off traffic and curious to disperse the crowd, practically throws herself under a large three-meter wheel.
This run and became the only sea trials Snow Cruiser, which played a cruel joke with him in Antarctica. The snow was quite different from the properties of the pavement.
Wherever breezing Antarctic Snow Cruiser on the way to Boston, throughout its ever met ecstatic crowd.
Super technology of a century ago
How to turn wheel a diameter of three meters? It was useless to think of summing up to each propeller shaft — all the arrangements had to be hidden inside the body, so that they can be repaired without leaving the cold. In addition, all four wheels for maneuverability could rotate, so that the "cruiser" could go down the snowy surface of not only the forward or reverse, and at an angle.
The creators have used diesel-electric scheme: two engines of 150 hp. s. spinning rotors 2-generators and wheel is driven integrated into each (enough space) electric motors at 75 liters. s. For you, it seems that for such bulk silenok clear enough? But for some reason the designers do not show, elk, but in vain … In general, on the highway Snow Cruiser developed as much as 48 km / h And what is it more? Motors and so took to the uniqueness of voracious, well at least that large tanks could take 9463 liters of diesel oil (this should be enough for 8,000 kilometers). And by the way, inside the monster crew of 5 people and Labrador Navi could live off-line for a year — the food and the heat would be enough. Another feature of the "cruiser" — a 1.2 meter retractable wheels: it was necessary, that is, to overcome the wide crevices.
That's cruiser had to overcome the crack widths up to 15 feet: the rear wheel bearing down on her nose caught up with the front wheels. Later, drawn back, and the front, on the contrary, produced and exported the car "to the other side." The procedure consisted of 20 transactions in the absence of computers otymala long.
The collapse of hope
January 12 "Polar Star" cast anchor in the Bay whale. And that the Cruiser was able to leave the board, from the heavy wood to built a special ramp that when unloading began to fall apart, so that only the skill Poulter, who was sitting behind the wheel and at the right time gave full throttle, allowed the monster to go off the ice is not dangerous.
Unloading in Antarctica
We will not outline all the twists and turns unloading Snow Cruiser in Antarctica, we can only say that the wheels of the heavy machinery, immersed in the snow more than 0.9 meters, began helplessly to scroll, and overheated engines. Snow, unlike asphalt, dents, and the wheels were always in the pit, and to leave it lacked power. The only way to get at least 148 km was reversing … (thanks to the "right" weight distri
bution fore and aft, and the profile of the bottom and overhangs).
In general, the existence in comfortable cabins near the warm diesel was very comfortable, and the cruiser stood on a never-ending joke as a base for explorers. Scientists expedition even held a small series of scientific tests. Later, he made snow, and only very long cane pole gave place "underground" camp.
Later, the war pushed the polar research on the second plan, and only in 1958, scientists from the international organizations have established a clear IGY residence "Cruisers", went to Antarctica and dug up the car, looked and left.
We can only guess that after what happened to the unnatural vehicle. Indicative of his position clear, but Snow Cruiser Nobody never found. And, maybe, and did not find.
According to one version, the car was on the ice floe, got her into the sea and drowned. Another, more intriguing option for the Yankees — this is likely the hit "Battlestar" in the hands of the Soviet Union, and the car was taken away for investigation in Siberia. In any case, since the newspaper wrote some of the time. That, of course, is highly unlikely, since the export of Russian cars had to face the same challenges as the members of the expedition from the United States.
The car was reddish in color, in order to make it perfectly clear in Antarctica
Was it possible to prevent the funds to build a "cruiser", which had to cross the entire length and breadth of Antarctica (see arrows). Should, but not crossed. On Antarctic snows, he was able to drive a little hundred and fifty miles — from the base of Little America («Little America") to the first turn in a route, and even then in reverse.