On the basis of a minibus from Riga, they “created” a vehicle that cannot be found in the world.
Apparently, the basis of the Ka-30 snowmobile was laid by the RAF-977 van, however, the designers significantly redesigned the body structure using aviation technologies – they replaced the ordinary metal with sheet-riveted duralumin so that the unusual colossus could ride on snow and ice with improved aerodynamics.
In order to recall that the aircraft factory was engaged in the production of the original transport, the sleigh was given the name “Ka-30”, in honor of the helicopter of the same name. There were enough original solutions, unusual for the USSR in 1962, in snowmobiles. They could move on slippery even surfaces with the help of four metal skis, which were attached directly to the hull and had independent suspension. The first pair of skis, at the same time, is able to rotate 25 degrees so that the sled can maneuver.
From the inside, the car received three compartments: a driver and a passenger were accommodated in the heated cabin, up to 10 people were accommodated in the middle compartment provided the benches were tilted down, and the engine compartment completed the picture, which should be stopped separately, since Soviet engineers managed to create a futuristic layout that combined into advanced automotive technology of the time and aircraft parts.
The snowmobiles were driven by a 9-cylinder aircraft engine, which untwisted a 2.7-meter propeller. The maximum return of the Ka-30 snowmobile was 260 horsepower, which was enough to gain speed in the “hundred” km per hour. Interestingly, the steering was taken over from the ZIL-130, so steering the Ka-30 was as simple as a car.
The real “Mad Max”, just born in the snows of Siberia – in the North of Russia, Ka-30 snowmobiles were used to transport goods: mail, money, gold sand and minerals. At the end of the 60s, experts calculated that the use of snowmobiles was more effective than if helicopters did the same job, but happiness lasted only two decades – in the early 1990s, “live” Ka-30 snowmobiles were removed from operation due to the high cost of maintenance.