Product no.: AC 991215
…over the lakes of Russia
The new Edition 2021 is a different kind of book – it is THE book for the automotive enthusiast who wants to learn more about the stories of long forgotten automobiles, brands and other developments. Whether rare, fast or strange – many interesting stories in conjunction with precise historical accuracy, flanged by many historical photographs and illustrations of autocult models produced in 2021, make this book (as well as all future editions) a reading experience for those interested in automotive history.
With the occupation of the Sudetenland in 1939 and the enormous plan to conquer Russia from 1941, the German military was well aware that their units did not have suitable means of travel to traverse the vast frozen lakes to avoid making a detour. Without further ado, the Tatra factory in Nesselsdorf in Bohemia was commissioned to design an adequate vehicle. They built a vehicle that glided on two, wide, and leaf-spring-suspended ski pairs of which the forward pair was steerable. When propulsion was needed to climb inclines, a spiked roller supported the propulsion. The engine was a 3-liter V8 engine, which developed 75 hp and was sourced from remaining parts form a Type 87 passenger car which was no longer in production. The engine was used to power a propeller at the rear end of the bodywork. It was possible for the engine/ propeller system to achieve a maximum speed of 80 km/h (48 mph) on relatively flat ground. The snow glider used dynamic breaking through a conventional break pedal that affected the front skis. Pedal pressure caused the skies to turn inward adding friction with the surface of the snow.
In addition to the engine, the body was also taken form the car production. The front was shortened and the V8 engine and the powerful propeller was mounted at the rear of the car body. The interior had a front seat for to passengers and a back seat that provided room for three. Seating for five allowed no added space for a trunk or other internal storage space. It was obvious at the time as it is now that this configuration was not ideal for people and material that would be used in military operations during World War II.
Internally, the vehicle was known under the abbreviation ‘V 855’ and the addition ‘Aeroluge’. Presumably, the vehicle was tested by military staff, but in the end it remained a prototype, of which today a replica exists.