"The reliability of prototypes is low": the UAZ-469 makes its way into the series
В first part of the material about stories the famous "UAZ" was talking about the difficult birth of the concept of the future light army SUV. The Ulyanovsk Automobile Plant at the end of the 50s did not have much experience in developing its own cars, it was engaged in the assembly of GAZ-69 and UAZ-450 "cars". The last car was the most successful independent development of the Ulyanovskites and, in its own way, made a local revolution in the domestic automotive industry. Until now, machines of this class have not been produced in our country - that is why the "loaf" is still on the conveyor. From the post-war engineering portfolio of UAZ, one can single out an attempt to put the UlZIS-253 diesel truck on the conveyor back in 1944. The car was very decent and could set the tone for the development of the domestic automotive industry for many years to come. But instead of the Ulyanovsk truck, a much less perfect ZIS-150 got on the conveyor of the Moscow ZIS. Since then, the Ulyanovsk Automobile Plant has not done anything larger than the UAZ-3303.
The first prototype of the army "UAZ" was the UAZ-460, which managed to take part in comparative tests with Land Rover and the German Sachsenring P3. The military customers were not satisfied with the small ground clearance, and after the demonstration of the equipment, the Ulyanovsk residents went to revise the design.
But there was also an extraordinary prototype in the history of UAZ. An all-terrain vehicle with the index 471 was introduced in 1960 and was devoid of a frame. Yes, sixty years ago the legendary "UAZ" almost got a load-bearing body. Until now, the frame has not completely gone out of fashion among off-road vehicle manufacturers. We can say with complete confidence that the UAZ at the beginning of the 60s could not have provided the load-bearing body with the strength and reliability necessary for a military off-road vehicle. In addition, the load-bearing body turned out to be more expensive than a similar frame one, and the independent suspension was much more capricious than the traditional one.
The products of the Ulyanovsk Automobile Plant prior to acceptance on the assembly line of the UAZ-469. Source: uazbuka.ru
UlZIS-253 is a car that could become a landmark in the domestic automotive industry. Source: uazbuka.ru
But the UAZ-471 revolution did not end there.
Engineers provided the car with a V-shaped 4-cylinder gasoline engine, built on the basis of an in-line "gas" M-21. Ulyanovsk residents managed to increase the engine power from 70 to 82 hp. with., and the military liked it. The 471st prototype was rejected as too avant-garde, and even devoid of the required wheel gears, but the motor was recommended for production. But, as is often the case in the domestic automotive industry, the technology for the production of a progressive engine has not been mastered.
The Ford M151 is the car that was imitated in the development of the UAZ-471. Source: ru.wikipedia.org
"Moskvich-415" could well become the younger brother of the UAZ-469 in the army. But to date, this niche has not been occupied. Source: autoussr.com
The UAZ-471 car, as the automotive expert Yevgeny Kochnev assures, was not born out of nowhere. The overseas Ford M151, which appeared in the US Army in 1959, served as the ideological inspirer. The car was of a lower class than the projected UAZs, but it was distinguished by a monocoque body and independent wheel suspensions.
In the United States, the M151 was produced in various factories until 1982. It is interesting that the engineers of the Moscow plant MZMA (the future AZLK) tried to offer a similar technique to the Soviet Army. The enterprise was definitely knocked out of the all-Union range of automakers by the lack of a military vehicle. The situation in 1957 was supposed to be corrected by the "Moskvich-415", suspiciously reminiscent of the American Willys-MB. The cars of the first series were generally indistinguishable from the object of copying, but the jeeps of the second generation were distinguished by some originality.
But neither the cars of the first series nor the second impressed the military. The report wrote that the bodies of the "Muscovites" are too weak, the cross-country ability and carrying capacity are insufficient. In the literature, there is still no clarity regarding the design of all-wheel drive vehicles - was the body a load-bearing body or did it have a frame? Be that as it may, the upcoming UAZ-469 lost both its younger brother "Moskvich" and the supporting body from the prototype 471.
UAZ-460 did not fit the Soviet army, but fit as a prototype for the Chinese Beijing BJ212. Source: ru.wikipedia.org
And here is the UAZ-460 model, which was discussed in previous section stories and which the Soviet military did not like, liked ... the Chinese! In 1965, seven years before the launch of the UAZ-469 into series, the Chinese Beijing (Beijing) mastered the production of the BJ212 model. In fact, it was a slightly revised prototype of the UAZ-460 with a 75-horsepower engine, a synchronized 3-speed gearbox and a 2-speed transfer case. The Chinese UAZ was produced practically unchanged until the mid-80s.
The Soviet military did not like, unlike the Chinese, the Ulyanovsk car with an index of 460 (due to low cross-country ability), as well as a car with an index of 471 (overly complicated and expensive). The UAZ-469, introduced in 1959, was supposed to be the golden mean. The index already corresponded to the future production car, but the appearance did not go far from its predecessor, the UAZ-460.
The light SUV was distinguished by high ground clearance due to single-stage spur gearboxes. The body was three-door with a folding tailgate and was designed for two people with a half-ton load, or for five people with a 50-kilogram load. The spare wheel was located behind the driver, which excluded an additional door on the left side of the car. The SUVs were equipped with serial 70-horsepower engines from the GAZ-21 Volga. Also, the clutch was borrowed from a passenger car.
The main highlight of the design of the UAZ-469 prototype was the torsion bar independent suspension - the plant workers with enviable persistence promoted this idea into mass production.
Interestingly, at UAZ, in parallel, on a similar basis, the UAZ-470A off-road van was also developed. In the future, this machine will replace the UAZ-450B wagon layout and will enter the conveyor under the index 452. As you can see, to understand the intricacies of the Ulyanovsk engineering culture, remarkable patience is required.
Military motorists, together with the specialized NII-21, organized large-scale comparative tests for new SUVs, which lasted from January to August 1960. The serial GAZ-69 and the early prototype of the UAZ-460B were used as control vehicles.
What did the previously rejected 460 UAZ forget in this race?
As it turned out, he was predicted to be an inexpensive version of an SUV for the national economy of the Soviet Union. Thus, already at the design stage in Ulyanovsk, two specifications for an SUV were laid down - a simple civilian and a complex army one.
During the run, the very first, at 17,5 thousand kilometers, the UAZ-470A “loaf” surrendered. The 469th car passed much more, but it also did not go without remarks. I did not like the too angular body, which creates high air resistance at speeds. Perhaps the first case in Russian history when military motorists were concerned about the aerodynamics of a car. Experimental vehicles covered more than 20 thousand kilometers and remained in service. But the military did not like the state of the M-21 engine after such a run and the low reliability of the transmission. In particular, the gearbox was destroyed from poor-quality assembly and defects in the drive. The heating system of the “UAZ” tilt body also caused criticism.
UAZ-469 1960. Already in September 1961, the world-famous UAZ-469 will appear in the usual body design. Source: denisovets.ru
But among the obvious advantages stood out a spacious cabin, economy and high cross-country ability. The car went on snow up to 45-50 cm deep, completely surpassing the GAZ-69 in this discipline. The Gorky SUV could not even move along the track beaten by UAZ in the half-meter snow.
The 469th favorably differed from the "gazik" by a quarter more thrust on the hook, which gave the makings of a tractor in the car.
On the highway and off-road, the successes of the new Ulyanovsk car and the well-deserved GAZ-69 were comparable.
The conclusions on the 469th car were pessimistic.
Military representatives wrote:
Продолжение следует ...
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