The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a sleigh that moves over snow and ice by the thrust of a propeller. The first aerosleighs in Russia were built in 1908 at the Duks factory in Moscow. Several kinds of aerosleighs were created by A. S. Kuzin and others. A small series of aerosleighs produced during 1915–16 by the automobile factory of the All-Russian Zemstvo Union were used at the front. By a resolution of the Council of Labor and Defense, the Commission on the Organization of the Construction of Aerosleighs (KOMPAS) was established in 1919. Between 1919 and 1932, through the efforts of prominent Soviet scientists and designers who joined KOMPAS, a number of aerosleigh types were developed, such as the ANT, designed by A. N. Tupolev; the ARBES, designed by A. A. Arkhangel’skii and B. S. Stechkin; the NRB, by N. R. Brilling; and the BEKA, by N. R. Brilling and A. S. Kuzin. They passed practical inspection in test runs, and the best were used in the national economy and in the Soviet Army down through the 1940’s and 1950’s. The ANT-IV aerosleighs, which were produced in lots, were especially widely employed. During the Great Patriotic War the Soviet Army was equipped with the NKL-16 transport-landing aerosleighs and the NKL-26 combat aerosleighs, which were designed under the direction of N. M. Andreev at the Moscow Planing Boat Factory. During the 1950’s and the 1960’s serial production began on the aerosleighs Sever-2 and KA-30 created by the design office of N. I. KAMOV, and on the amphibious aerosleigh, which was developed by the design office of A. N. Tupolev.

Aerosleighs of all-metal construction have bodies mounted on three or four skis and are guided by means of turning skis on the bow; the engine and propeller are located in the stern. In the case of the amphibious aerosleigh, the body on skis is replaced by a single “ski-boat” for greater mobility; this permits the sleigh to move not only over loose snow, but also over water, shallow rivers, swampy areas, ice with areas of open water, and broken ice. The amphibian is guided by means of vertical rudders located in the stern section of the “ski-boat.” The maximum load capacity of aerosleighs and the amphibious aerosleigh is 600 kg and their range is up to 500 km; with 190 kilowatt, or 260 horsepower, engines they attain speeds of over 100 km/hr on snow; on water the amphibious aerosleigh is able to reach speeds of up to 80 km/hr. In the USSR, especially in the northern European and Siberian reaches where there are no roads, the amphibious aerosleigh and other models are used for communications; for the transportation of mail, people, and freight; for patrol service; and for other purposes. Aerosleighs are used for the same purposes in the Scandinavian countries, Canada, and Alaska. Work continues to make the aerosleigh more economical and reliable and to make it usable in any weather and season.


Evstiushin, N. l.Razvitie aerosannogo transporta ν SSSR. Moscow, 1959.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.