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Soviet NKL-16M 'Hydrosan'

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Soviet NKL-16M 'Hydrosan'

Okay, like a lot of my Builds, this one's been planned for quite a while, and waiting for an opportunity to build it, so here we are . . .

The major problem the Soviets found with their aerosani was that they could only be used when the lakes and rivers were frozen, and snow was present on the ground. Although the Soviets also had aeroglisseri, aero engine powered speedboats for use when the rivers and lakes were ice-free, they couldn't be used in winter, or on land. Further neither type could be used during the rasputitsa, or spring thaw, when the water was liquid, but not ice free, and the snow had thawed, and the ground was just mud. What was needed was a single type of craft that could operate in all these conditions.
The answer, when it came, was simplicity itself. Starting with a damaged NKL-16 transport aerosan, it's skis were removed and replaced with a pair of floats from a scrapped Junkers airliner, dating from the time of pre-war Russo-German pact. The ski equipped aerosan steered by pivoting it's skis, which was impossible with the floats attached, so the linkages were re-arranged to operate a rudder mounted in the propeller's slipstream. As the floats were all metal, no reinforcement was needed to allow them to run over snow and ice.
The modified NKL-16M proved highly effective, and orders were issued to convert all aerosani to this new configuration, which the Soviets called a Hydrosan. In addition, all further aerosani were to be built as Hydrosani. Fortunately, the drawing for the Junkers type floats still existed, enabling them to be put back into production, and for the lighter aerosan types, smaller existing wooden floats could be used, suitably reinforced with metal keel plates for running over ice.
The NKL-16M is probably most famous for it's use during the siege of Leningrad, when it was used as a high-speed* courier, on Lake Ladoga, both during the winter on the ice road 'Road of Life', and in the summer when the lake had thawed.

*relatively speaking; the NKL-16M was capable of 40 mph on open water and smooth snow and ice, less on mud and ice containing water.



Okay . . .
Made a start on this one.
First up, the parts for the floats. Depending on the boxing, the 1/72 Revell Junkers F-13 contains the parts to build a floatplane version,

and the floats complete. I've also filled the existing mounting holes, these will not be needed.

The vehicle proper will be based on the 1/72 ACE NKL-16/41 aerosan kit. The box,

and the parts for the body/hull/fuselage . . .

and assembled. The fits aren't perfect, so there's some filling to be done, and some detail parts to attach to complete this part . . .

That' All For Now, Stay Tuned . . .


I'm liking where this is going. 

Dr. YoKai:
Nifty concept, and it is always nice to see braille scale armor getting some attention. ;) The only suggestion I would offer would be to make the sled a twin engine. The extra weight of the floats might not seem like much, but I suspect it would have been underpowered with the single radial.

The Soviet aerosans were interesting concepts; I didn't know there were 1/72 scale kits; I have the Trumpeter 1/35 kits.

I agree with Craig - Twin engines would look good!


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