Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute
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TsAGI centenary in the history of aviation: Aerosledge of the ANT series

9 August 2018

In August 1919 the Council of labor and defence decided to organize a serial production of an aerosledge for the needs of the Red Army. They create a commission to supervise the activities. A.N.Tupolev, TsAGI Deputy Chief for experienced all-metal aircraft manufacturing was one of the project supervisors.

The result of the designers’ work became six types of aerosledges. The first of them was the Ant-I, released in 1921. Its body configuration remained an airplane fuselage. It was a two-seater system of about 5 meters length. The construction required it to be light-weight, so that in emergency cases the crew could “pull the aerosledge out of any situation,” and its permeability should be no worse than regular sled pulled by horses.

The next aerosledge model, the Ant-II had five people on board or 480 kg of cargo. In the beginning of 1923 the designers completed the creation of the first all-metal aerosledge , the Ant-III, designed to carry three passengers. These works gave TsAGI scientists an opportunity to test different options for the use of metals, which later found application in the aircraft industry.

A year later, the specialists presented two models: the aerosledge Ant-IV with five seats and the three-seat Ant-V. In 1926, they successfully passed the State tests and entered series production.

In 1920-1930 the aerosledge, constructed in TsAGI, proved to be an indispensable means of travel in polar and Far Eastern expeditions. The Ant-IV model even participated in winter operations of World War II.

The aerosledge is a self-propelled vehicle for driving on ice and snow, equipped with an internal combustion engine with a pusher propeller. Usually the aerosledge relied on three skis; the front of which (the nose ski) was turned by the steering wheel. The first aerosledge models were able to accelerate to speeds up to 35-40 km/h.

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