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Ice airfields
Material posted : Administrator Publication date: 23-03-2015
The idea of ​​the iceberg-airport occurred to science fiction writers and engineers more than once. In fact, as soon as the aircraft have learned to safely accelerate and sit on the flat ground, the conquest of the poles of the planet with the help of aviation has become a matter of technique - in fact there is enough natural airfields. Talked about this back in the 19th century Arctic explorer Julius von Payer after opening them Franz Josef Land, "It would be wise to refrain from trying to achieve pole until replaced helpless sea-going vessels will not come court air." And it's true - it took only a few decades, and in 1925 Roald Amundsen wrote: "The airship has replaced the dogs. Future polar explorer is closely related to aviation. "

Iceberg of doctor Gerke

However when novelty of conquest of Arctic regions has by air subsided, on the foreground there were the military men considering ice not only as sweet addition in a glass with burbonom, but also as a platform for take off and landing of aviation armadas.

The first mentions of artificial ice buoyant aerodromes can be met in the American log Popular Mechanics for 1932. The originator of such aerodrome, German doctor A. Gerke from Valdenburga, supposed that two or three vessels are necessary for construction with a refrigerating machinery and a suitable shoal place. There divers at the bottom erect a grid from horizontal and riser pipes on which then the refrigerating agent moves. In a case if the aerodrome is necessary in other place, it haul on the necessary point and anchor. The originator stated that he has created a similar ice floe on loch Zurich which has existed even six days after refrigerating machinery switch-off.

Ice island of doctor Gerke. 1932

After some months the log has returned to the same subject, having written about artificial islands of doctor Gerke the small notice in which, however, it was not informed anything new. The only thing that has undergone the strong modifications, is a graphical representation of the design. If earlier it saw as a huge ice floe three flight strips, a hangar, a refrigerating factory, a fake for the vessels and the big economic building now the artificial iceberg rather looked like the enormous ice vessel. All constructions and the quay protected from waves remained on a place, but the flight strip was only one.

However, anybody as a result and has not become interested in the design of doctor Gerke, and here to sit down on ice floes in fighting conditions became already soon.

Tricks in ices

One of such cases has happened during the Soviet-Finnish war when the Soviet fighter of pilot Romashko which has been lined belofinnami, has crash-landed on snow-covered land. Trying to take out a fighting companion pilot Dobrov from this a link has made, but its airplane has had an accident, and the pilot has gained severe wounds.

Romashko 18 kilometres in the blizzed night carried on itself a wounded companion. On ice of gulf of Finland it seemed to it that misadventures already behind. However soon ice has bred, and two pilots have appeared on an ice floe drifting in the sea. There they were detected also by a link of the pilot of the Baize.

The iceberg-aerodrome quite suits fit and flights 

Rescue suffering distress seemed matter almost hopeless - the ice floe had about 250 metres at length and only 100 metres widthway, however the Baize has made a puzzling trick: it has touched down vpritirku with one edge of an ice floe and has braked at the most other edge when it seemed that the airplane will drop in water. To an instance of the commander other pilot of a link - Full-spheres has followed also, is masterful planted the machine nearby. The Soviet pilots have been rescued.

Shock through a pole

During World War II the arctic pole almost did not serve as a place of application of force of the at war countries, however with the beginning of cold war all has varied. After all through Arctic regions it is possible to plot a nuclear attack successfully!

Ту-16 On an ice floe

«In my opinion, since 1946 from aerodrome on point Barrow two times a week on a pole and it is inverse at altitude of 5-6 thousand metres« flying stabilities »walked American, - the participant of those events, the colonel of a health service Vitaly Volovich recalls. - On an itinerary they completed all: technics of air navigation, suitability of flight equipment, food allowances, they studied a state of pilots etc. Besides, actively mastered ice islands in the military purposes. Have opened these islands we, but the discovery, as usual, have coded, and when in some years Americans were justified on them, they with our classified priority have sent us far away.

In the answer at us on to a top the solution on urgent learning of Polar basin as battlefield was accepted. There were tasks in view of profound learning of meteoconditions, states of an ionosphere, depths of ocean, speed of drift of ices, etc. This convergence were extremely necessary and for pilotage with loads on Northern sea way. At the same time it was necessary to test new military men and transports ».

Michael Mihajlovich Somov on organised by it of station «Northern Poljus-2»

Since 1948 the Soviet military men have begun the regular researches of Central Polar basin. It became as follows: groups of contributors on airplanes of Lie-2 and Silt-14 were jolted in ices, put tent, did necessary samplings and set off on basis of expedition "North". However the USSR has faced one unpleasant singularity - if Americans possessed a considerable quantity of strategic bombers, capable to convert cities of "empire of evil" into similitude of Hiroshima at airplanes of Soviet Union of power to strike back did not suffice. Considering lack of systems of refuelling in air and without wishing to subtilize with airplanes-aeroplane carriers, the Political bureau has made to use the solution in the capacity of large aircraft depots … drifting ices. As to be trained already was on what - loads to scientific expeditions on drifting ice floes were flown in for a long time already.

The coldest war

Parallely with research of a possibility of fit to an ice floe of heavy bombers operations and on basing learning in ice aerodromes of fighters were conducted. In 1948 it has been decided to make hop of several long-range fighters La-11 on an ice floe used by one of scientific expeditions AN the USSR, however to carry out the task it has appeared not so simply. Compasses by which fighters have been riged, at any manoeuvres with firmness showed on the south, therefore pilots could not that ice floe on which it was necessary to make landing, to discover. It was necessary to attract in expedition a bomber Tu-6 riged with the good navigation equipment (in particular, a celestial compass not giving malfunctions). In the beginning it has departed from Wrangel island and has produced fit to a required ice floe, and then on May, 7th, 1948 has represented itself as the leader for triple La-11. Having made a safe landing (to brake to pilots it was necessary as to motorists on ice - sweepingly pushing and releasing the pedal brakes) and some flights from an ice floe, expedition has returned inversely. It has shown that after necessary finishing of airplanes (so, it was required to equip airplanes with ice protection systems to refine the navigation equipment to ensure flight from not rolled snow bands) was quite possiblly the device of fighting aerodromes on ice floes for watch execution in air.

The bomber of Tu-6 has excellently coped with fit to ice

So the new era - an epoch of cold war in one of the coldest regions on a planet has begun.

Yuri Danilov

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