By the mid-sixties, the Soviet space program faced certain logistical difficulties. Space rockets were built at the Progress plant in the city of Kuibyshev (now Samara), after which they were delivered in disassembled form by rail to the Baikonur cosmodrome, where their final assembly and preparation for the launch took place. While the talk was about launch vehicles based on the P-7 platform, such methods seemed acceptable. However, the development of a "lunar" rocket H-1, characterized by increased dimensions, was already underway. Delivery of its units to the spaceport was associated with serious problems.
Prototype sample ZIL-135Sh at the landfill. Photo Russian-power. Rf
Considering alternatives to railway transport, OKB-1 specialists, headed by S.P. The Queen offered the original version of the delivery of missile aggregates to Baikonur. The steps were proposed to be built in Kuibyshev, after which they should be carried along a special barge along the Volga and the Caspian Sea to the city of Guryev (now Atyrau, Kazakhstan). There, the rocket technology was planned to be reloaded on a special transport and delivered by land to the cosmodrome. To implement such a proposal, it was necessary to create a river barge and a land vehicle with acceptable characteristics. In the case of land transport, the task of the designers was complicated by the fact that individual units of the future H-1 could weigh at least 20-25 t.
A group of OKB-1 engineers headed by V.P. Petrov formed the approximate appearance of the future transporter and made several important proposals. Thus, in order to ensure acceptable mobility and maneuverability, the machine needed orientated wheels of the type used on the nose landing gear of the aircraft. In this case, the desired characteristics of maneuverability and mobility on the steppes of the Kazakh SSR could only be obtained by using wheels with a diameter of at least 1,5 m. With such a chassis, the future conveyor could get acceptable dimensions and show the desired load capacity.
Having formed the approximate appearance of the future rocket conveyor, the OKB-1 began searching for the developer of a full-fledged project. At the same time, several domestic automobile plants had the necessary experience, but not all of them reacted enthusiastically to the proposal of the “space” designers. So, the NAMI Institute and the Minsk Automobile Plant did not dare to participate in such a complex project, the development of which, moreover, was not allocated too much time.
The situation was saved by SKB ZIL headed by V.A. Grachev. At a meeting dedicated to the development of a new vehicle, he expressed his readiness to create a special machine capable of transporting cargo weighing up to 100 t cross-country, four times the required load. Simple calculations have shown that the prospective all-terrain vehicle will be able to carry the second or third stage of the H-1 rocket entirely. The larger and heavier first stage could be disassembled into just three sections.
Thus, for the transportation of all elements of the rocket to Baikonur, it was necessary to have only five or six transporter flights, after which it was possible to begin assembling the rocket. In the case of rail transport, an entire echelon was required, and the assembly would take much longer.
Scheme experienced ZIL-135Sh. Figure Russian-power.
Soon a number of documents appeared that officially launched the new project. The head developer of the transporter for the space industry was appointed SKB ZIL. The design of special electrical systems was entrusted to the SKB Moscow Plant No. 467 named after. F.E. Dzerzhinsky. OKB-1 took over the preparation of technical specifications, coordination of works and assistance of an administrative nature.
At the beginning of 1967, several enterprises jointly formed the shape of a future transporter. It was proposed to build a car with a cargo platform of size 10,8х21,1 m. The chassis should have an eight-axle design with the wheel formula 32х32. The wheels were proposed to be installed in pairs on the swivel pillars. In each corner of the case fit four such racks. Due to this design, the chassis could provide the highest maneuverability. Gross weight would reach 80-100 t with a payload near the promised 100 t.
It is obvious that the construction of an experienced conveyor in the full configuration did not make sense yet. Before developing a full-fledged project, it was proposed to create, build and test a mock-up sample in a simplified configuration. In terms of the chassis, this car was supposed to be one-eighth of a full-size conveyor. With the help of reduced equipment it was possible to verify the main ideas and solutions, as well as draw certain conclusions and make changes to the existing project.
A prototype was proposed to be created using ready-made assemblies and assemblies. The main sources of components were supposed to be all-terrain vehicles of the ZIL-135 family. For example, the electric transmission was based on the units of the ZIL-135E all-terrain vehicle. In this regard, the experimental machine was designated as ZIL-135Sh ("Chassis"). Also found the designation ZIL-135MSH. It should be noted that some units were borrowed from the IL-18, but this fact was not reflected in the name of the project.
Diagram of the hydropneumatic system of the machine. Figure Os1.ru
The project ZIL-135Sh proposed the construction of a self-propelled laboratory of unusual design, which has the most serious differences from other ultra-high-traffic machines. Special features were present both in the composition of the power plant or transmission, and in the design of the chassis. In particular, the latter was supposed to combine the traditional aggregates and elements of the future "space" conveyor.
The basis of the experimental machine was the frame of complex shape. Its front and rear parts were rectangular. Between them, right behind the cabin, were the longitudinal spars of the L-shaped profile. They were designed to install special elements of the chassis. It was proposed to use the front overhang of the frame to install the cab, and in the rear part of the frame were placed elements of two power plants at once. There is also a body for the transport of various goods or property.
The power plant ZIL-135Sh consisted of two engines ZIL-XNUMYЯH power 375 hp The first engine was located on the rear frame assembly, in front of it. At the rear of the platform, directly above the wheel axle, placed the second motor. The front engine was connected to a GET-375 electric generator with a power of 120 kW, which was the basis of the electric transmission. The second engine was equipped with a hydromechanical transmission associated with the rear axle. As conceived by the designers, the main engine was the front engine, which was part of the gas-electric unit. The second motor was planned to be used in some situations to increase the overall power of the car.
Right wheel rack. Photo Os1.ru
The equipment, which was the main element of the whole experimental project, was suspended on the L-shaped frame side members. On special vertical supports were placed two racks, built on the basis of the aggregates of the IL-18. There was a vertical stand, which served as a hydropneumatic suspension shock absorber with a stroke of 450 mm. The spars were mounted electric drives, with which the stand could rotate around a vertical axis, providing maneuvering. At the bottom of the racks was a pair of motor-wheels.
Plant No.476 developed the original synchronous-tracking system for controlling the movement of racks. The control system made it possible to rotate the rack to an angle up to 90 ° to the right and left using two modes, according to the law of the steering linkage or parallelogram. It was also possible to steer within a sector of width 20 °. The operating mode of the controls was chosen by the driver. The transformation of the steering wheel rotation into commands for the drives was carried out by a special analog device that received data from a number of sensors and issued signals for the actuators. Such algorithms were implemented for the first time in domestic practice.
A pair of motor-wheels was mounted on a common support in the lower part of the rack. The hub of each of them accommodated a DT-15М direct-current electric motor with 15 kW power, connected to a single-stage planetary gearbox. Wheels were completed with tires of size 1200x500x580 mm with a developed tread. All four wheels of the front struts had a centralized pressure control system. Tire pressure varied within 1-3 kg / sq. Cm.
Two two-wheeled pivot points were supplemented with a rear axle needed to support the frame in the correct position. The bridge with dual wheels was suspended on longitudinal springs. Using hydromechanical transmission, the power of the “rear” engine was transferred to the wheels of the rear axle.
In connection with the special design of the undercarriage, the wheel formula of the model prototype ZIL-135Sh can be described as 6 XX6 / 4 or 4 X4 + 2 XX2. All six wheels of the car were leading, but the two rear-wheel drive could shut off. 6 4 wheels were made manageable, and they turned together with their racks.
For some tests, the prototype ZIL-135Sh was equipped with hydraulic jacks. A pair of such devices installed on the sides of the front of the frame, directly behind the cab. With the help of jacks it was possible to hang out the front of the machine, changing the load on the wheels of the swivel pillars.
Power point. In the center is the generator GET-120, on the right you can see the ZIL-375 engine connected to the rear axle. Photo Os1.ru
The front overhang of the frame served as the basis for the cab borrowed from the ZIL-135K. It was a fiberglass unit with four seats and all-round visibility with the help of glazing over a large area. In connection with the use of two autonomous power plants with different transmission options, the cab received a special set of controls. An additional shield with means of control over electrical systems, which was distinguished by its large size, had to be installed in front of the right workstation of the cabin. Featuring high complexity, this dual control post provided full control over all systems.
Above the engine compartment, formed by the rear part of the frame, installed a wide flatbed. Wooden cargo platform with sides of medium height received the arc for the installation of an awning. Another arc was behind the cabin and allowed to cover the spars with swivel pillars with a tarpaulin. On the sides of the body there were doors with steps for landing. According to reports, during the tests, the body was used for the transportation of ballast and various materiel needed for testing equipment.
The prototype ZIL-135Sh had a length of less than 9,5 m. The width reached 3,66 m, the height was 3,1 m. The curb weight was 12,9 t. The calculated carrying capacity was 12 t, but all this load was only on the front axle formed by a pair of two-wheeled racks. The wheelbase of the prototype - 4,46 m. The front "axle" gauge along the centers of the uprights was 2 m, along the centers of the outer wheels - about one and a half times more. Rear axle track - 1,79 m.
A prototype of a new type of machine, which was a demonstrator of the main technology of the future “space” conveyor, was built in the early summer of 1967, with maximum use of ready-made components. At the end of June, the car was delivered to the test site of the 21 Research Institute of the Ministry of Defense in the city of Bronnitsy. Over the next few months, the prototype model worked at the test site and showed its capabilities in conditions close to the steppes of the Kazakh SSR. High results were obtained, and all the new units of the machine showed themselves well.
Driving on the highway, ZIL-135Sh accelerated to 60 km / h. The average speed on a good road was half that. On a dirt road and meadow, it was possible to reach speeds up to 20 km / h, on plowing - up to 10 km / h. During the test, the car passed on different surfaces and soils around 1000 km. On all surfaces, including those with low bearing capacity, the all-terrain vehicle was confident. It was found that such a conveyor will be able to function normally in the intended areas of operation.
One of the objectives of the test was to check the original automated control system for the front wheel struts. With all its complexity and expected risks, such equipment coped with the tasks assigned to it. Automatics correctly worked out commands from the steering wheel and provided the required maneuvering in all conditions. When turning the steering wheels to 90 °, we managed to get the minimum turning radius (on the outer wheel) at the level of 5,1 m. The car was actually turning around its rear axle.
The tests of the prototype ZIL-135Sh were successful. All the main technologies of this project could be used to create a full-sized conveyor for rocket technology. Even before the completion of the tests of the experienced all-terrain vehicle, development work was started on a full-scale transport vehicle. In the foreseeable future, SKB ZIL was to prepare all the necessary documentation and proceed with the preparation of the construction of a prototype.
In parallel with the creation of a new conveyor, the design of a “lunar” rocket H-1 was carried out. The new head of the space program V.P. From a certain time, Mishin began to doubt the need to deploy a new logistics system to deliver missiles to Baikonur. With all its advantages, the transportation of missile aggregates through semi-deserts and steppes was associated with serious difficulties and risks. In addition, the project of the conveyor was too expensive and difficult from the point of view of production and subsequent operation.
At the end of the 1967 of the year, shortly after the completion of testing the prototype ZIL-135Sh, a fundamental decision was made to abandon new vehicles of an unusual type. OKB-1 canceled the order to create a special eight-axle conveyor. Elements of rockets were still proposed to be transported by rail. That is how the delivery of the H-1 rocket units was ensured.
The mockup swivels around its own axis. Photo Russian-power. Rf
After completion of the tests and the closure of the project, the only prototype ZIL-135Sh was probably sent for storage. His fate is unknown. Information about its existence is currently missing. Perhaps at some point he was disassembled as unnecessary. In the domestic museums there are several unique experienced all-terrain vehicles developed by SKB. Likhachev, but the car ZIL-135Sh is missing among them.
By the time of the termination of work, the project of a full-sized conveyor has not been completed. Later, in the mid-seventies, the question of creating an extra-heavy transporter for rocket and space technology arose again, but then the task of transporting large loads was decided to be entrusted to specially equipped aircraft. Developments on special land chassis again failed to come close to practical application.
The original prototype model met the expectations, but the customer decided to abandon the main project of the extra heavy transporter. As a result, the ZIL-135Sh theme was not developed, and the developments on it remained virtually unclaimed. However, this car left behind a few curious titles. The prototype ZIL-135Sh remained in stories as one of the most interesting prototypes in the history of the domestic automotive industry. In addition, it was the last eight-wheel all-terrain vehicle under the brand name "ZIL". All of the following high-terrain vehicles from SKB ZIL were equipped with a three-axle chassis.
Kochnev E.D. Secret cars of the Soviet Army. - M .: Yauza, Eksmo, 2011.