The need for cars from the moment of their appearance was quite acute, and in fact in all areas where they can be used at all. True, sometimes in order to meet certain needs, it is necessary to develop special machines with unique design solutions or functionality. One of these was the NAMI-012 model - a Soviet ferry that was supposed to work … in the GULAG. That's just to its direct customer, with all its merits, this car simply did not have time to get there.
The Gulag system was very ramified, but at the same time it was often located precisely in cold areas where prisoners were "cutting down the forest." Under such conditions, conventional trucks with gasoline internal combustion engines were ineffective. Therefore, the Ministry of State Security of the USSR in the forties of the last century gave an order to NAMI to create a ferry car that could be heated with the same firewood that was chopped at the place of work. Thus, the specialists had to adapt the car to work on a steam engine, and the latter should not use traditional coal as fuel, but full-fledged firewood up to half a meter long.
The six-ton Sentinel S4 dump truck of the English company Sentinel with a low-pressure boiler, which was acquired before the war for the design of another similar vehicle, was taken as the basis for working out the design of the future feromobile. And the prototype was "put" on the chassis of the YAZ-200 timber carrier. Other technical characteristics of NAMI-012 have also been preserved: the steam-power plant was a water-tube boiler and a single-expansion and double-acting steam engine. The engine had 3 cylinders and a power of 100 horsepower. At the same time, there was no gearbox. The cruising range with full load on the highway was 75-100 kilometers, on water - 150-180 kilometers. Carrying capacity - 6 tons, with a trailer - 12 tons.
The development of the car and the construction of the first experimental prototypes continued until the end of 1949, and during the next, 1950, a new truck was tested. We tested the car in the Far North, where the temperature dropped to -40 ° C, and the water was taken from a local lake. The final stage of the NAMI-012 tests was the run along the route Moscow - Yaroslavl and back. In total, one prototype then traveled 16 thousand km, and the second - 26 thousand km.
The test results turned out to be very interesting: it turned out that when loaded, NAMI-012 was distinguished by good cross-country ability. However, the latter dropped sharply when the truck was empty: in this position, too much weight fell on the front axle. Therefore, instead of releasing a series of cars, NAMI-012 was built only three copies, and attempts to correct the situation continued until 1953 - during this time they managed to create another similar model, and soon the GULAG itself was closed. Thus, the wood-fired ferry never made it to its customer.
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