Locomotion means for legged, hopping, snake like wheeled or tracked vehicles for lunar exploration as describe in a Russian review in the 60s. Picture from 'Science et Vie', early 60s.



Aichi Airoll type vehicle, 2011, for snow, swamps, water. Built at Chekalovskom Aeronautic Plant, with aluminum plates of planes, engine of Volga GAZ-3-24. Sold 180 000 rubles (about 4500 €).  http://translate.google.fr/translate?hl=fr&sl=ru&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fspec.drom.ru% 2F9430732.html



US002734476-001 Roller Tracked Vehicle, 1956.



US002916006-001 Amphibian Vehicle, 1959.


US003695736-002 Endless track vehicle, 1972.



Canadair Fisher, 1963. Picture from report of DTIC AD0857747 of Dec 1967 by Klimek Adam.


Canadair off-road vehicles represents non-aviation products of Canadair in the 60s. Included are the Snoscoot snow machine, the Fisher All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV), two CL-91 Dynatracs and two Nodwell ATVs. (CL4284). Pict from the book 'Canadair : the first 50 years' of Pickles, Ron and Larry Mulberry, Canav, Toronto, 1995.


Canadair Fisher, 1963, conceived by Gondon Fisher, using Airoll concept, and built by Canadair Ltd, Montréal. He conceived also the articulated 8x8 AMF Sure-Trek in 1967. Pict from Popular Science Dec 1964.


Canadair Fisher, 1963. Pict from report of DTIC AD0857747 of Dec 1967 by Klimek Adam.


Canadair Fisher, 1963. Picture documentation J M M from Fred Crismon.


Canadair Fisher, 1963. Picture documentation J M M from Fred Crismon.


Canadair Fisher, 1963. Picture from the book 'Canadair : the first 50 years' of Pickles, Ron and Larry Mulberry, Canav, Toronto, 1995.


Canadair Fisher, 1963. Pict from Popular Science Dec 1964.


Canadair Fisher, 1963. Picture from Popular Science, Dec 1964.



Airoll first prototype of Borg Warner, 1962. Deep mud, sand or snow was crossed with ease with this new off-road locomotion. In soft soils, free-rolling tires became stationary. Pict from Popular Science, Jan 1963.


Airoll 1 of Borg Warner in 1965. See Chapter : 'Airoll'. Pict from AFV High Mobility Vehicles by Christofer Foss, Duncan Crow, about 1970.



Airoll 1 of 1965 waiting at Quantico Marines Base. CA. http://www.jedsite.info/fulltrack-alpha/alpha/airoll_series/airoll1/airoll1-quantico.html

XM 759 airoll



Airoll-I of Borg Warner, and Kristi KT4. http://www.offroadvehicle.ru/AZBUCAR/Borg%20Warner/Borg%20Warner%20txt.html




XM-759 MTV weighted 4,2 t for a payload of 1,4 t. See Chap : Airoll. http://www.com-central.net/index.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=86934

Marginal Terrain Vehicle XM 759


XM-759 MTV of Pacific Car & Foundry in 1967. One of 7 produced now in a private collection. XM-759 MTV   www.com-central.net 



XM759 Airoll Marginal Terrain Vehicle staying at Waterways Experiment Station, Vickburg, Mississippi, in 2012. http://www.com-central.net/index.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=15161   



Pneumatic track Dredge of the Development Division of Clark Equipment Co., Cassopolis, MI, in 1967 for US Forest Service, Portland, Oregon. See Chapter 'Airoll'. Pict from Popular Sciences, Feb 1967.



CDP-1 or PCC-1 SKB ZIL amphibious prototype, 1965, created by Gratchev, taking the principle of Airoll (see chap : Airoll). 97 hp, hydromechanics transmission, 7.9 t empty mass after update, very adapted to deep snow (1 m) on slope of 20°, but reliability (roller axels, derailment of tracks) should be improved. http://scalehobby.org/index.php?topic=971.0


CDP-1 or PCC-1 SKB ZIL amphibious prototype, 1965. http://scalehobby.org/index.php?topic=971.0


CDP-1 or PCC-1 SKB ZIL amphibious prototype 1965



CDP-1 or PCC-1 SKB ZIL Amphibious prototype 1965






Roller tracked vehicle HF-1, created by Avenarius and other engineers in late 60 at Novosibirsk plant and tested with 250 kg ballast. http://www.cardesign.ru/forum/diskussii/obschenie/1857/page99/




GAZ47-AMA of A.M. Avenarius, 1965. His first idea dates from 1942 and was patented in 1947.







GT-TC Roller-Tracked Amphibious, 1975. Tested in 1975-76 at Novosibirsk and near in Samotlor swamps, it proved better than tracked vehicles and more ecologic.  http://strangernn.



Military Airoll Ambulance for 2 stretchers, from the 70 ? Posted by Dmitry Dashko, Kharkov, who has a lot of pictures (80000) and books (1000) of archives. He wants, with other persons, to make books on Russian vehicles history. http://rcforum.ru/showthread.php?t=4080&


















Airoll like SA-1 from 1993 of  Production Association, Novosibirsk Chklov Russia, which was designed for series in 1990. wwwstrangernn.livejournal.com



ZIL PCC-1 Airoll type amphibious, 1961-1966. This new concept had very good off-road performances but it lacked reliability and had too much pitch. http://translate.









VACT-0,5 Amphibian, about 2000, looked like PATA of the 60s with air-cushion supported tracks and weighted 1,25 t. It was itended to be used for fishing and rescue operations, drilling, pulling ashore small crafts, in conditions of coastal areas. Designed by Azovtsev Anatoly Ivanovitch, it was tested at Moscow University. See chap : 'Pneumatic tracks'. http://www.msun.ru/res/www/Azovcev/index.htm http://www.msun.ru/res/www/Azovcev/tsvgrus.htm



Scaled Test Bed, reduced prototype of the PATA, 1961. It was built by Ling-Temco-Vought, Dallas, Texas. Air bags tracks provided low ground pressure and flotation. Picture documentation J M M, from Fred Crismon.




PATA (Plenum Air Tread Amphibian) Test Bed of Ling-Temco-Vought was conducted from May 1965 to May 1966 at Fort Lee, Virginia. The vehicle had a very high degree of mobility in adverse terrain but a limited maneuverability. Improved steering was necessary, Excessive maintenance and numerous breakdowns required redesign of the track system. The Rotoped system of Makerle of Motor Vehicles of Prague could be applied to this vehicle. Pict 'Journal of Terramechanics, 1967, Vol 4 N° 2, Pergamon Press, Elsevier.



Scaled Test Bed built in 1961 by Ling-Temco-Vought, Dallas, Texas, was a scale test model of the PATA in 1965. The idea is that pneumatic bags would provide smooth ride, flotation and reduce ground pressure. Pict documentation, J M M from Fred Crismon.




Drawing showing the future PATA issued from Scale Test Bed in Marshes. Pict from documentation J M M, from Ling-Temco-Vought.

PATA, Air-Cell Suspension System



American Patents of pneumatic tracks.

US002867480-001 Pneumatic track, 1959.

US002923578-003 Pneumatic track, 1960



US4715668 patent. Tracks move on an air cushion. Air inflates lower bags of the track.


US3481654 patent for a rubber tracks, 1967


CAAT, Captive Air Amphibious Transporters, of DARPA is a 1/5 scale model amphibian, 2012. Air filled pontoons of a track enable it to float or travel on land for rescue operations and ship to shore transport. This model remembers the PATA and the KT-4JC Walter Kristi or even the Airoll vehicle of the 60s. See chap 'Pneumatic Tracks'.       http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_




Rhino of E P Aghnides of the 50s. Picture from Wheels and Tracks N° 23 about 1988. See Chapter : 'The wheel reinvented'.

Hemispherical Wheels, Aghnides's Rhino

Rhino of E P Aghnides



US002812031-003 Hemispherical wheels of Aghnides, 1957.


US003043391-002 Steering means for tandem wheel vehicle having tilted axles, 1962.



US003821995-002 Spherical wheel of Aghnides, in 1972.


US003973638-002 Curved tracks of Pohjola, 1975


Tracked Gear with cushioned lubricated leak proof suspension in 1955. It's a rubber proof lubricated track patent of M. Gregory Bekker.


710092_19941220 Canadian Patent of Gordon Fisher for Canadair Fisher CL 213, 1967.



US004353428-006, Hemispherical wheels.



Snowball and hemispherical wheels of 1,5 m diameter. The vehicle was stabilized by a front skating. Steering by brakes. Mass 180 kg. Picture from the book ‘Les véhicules Hors série’ of Jacques Borgé and Nicolas Viasnoff, Balland, 1976.


Draft of crawling vehicle in Russian review : Modelist-Konstrouktor. It used an undercarriage wave. Shigeo Hirose studied the first snake like locomotion from 1972. Pict from book of Alain Dupouy, Auto-éditeur : 'Les véhicules tout-terrain N° 11 Tome I'. 1995.



Enclosed pneumatic track from Okada, 1966. Pict from 'Journal of Terramechnics', 1966, Vol 3, N° 1 Pergamon Press, Elsevier.

Enclosed pneumatic track Okada




Fijalkowski Terrapin presented at ISTVS Conference at Kobe, Japan in 1990, was fitted by two primary and two secondary twin bogies each with a rubber all-wheel drive track. Two DC macro commutator and computer allows the whole bogie to rotate on it. Picture from article of Akira Oida in 'Journal of Terramechanics', Vol 28, 1991, Pergamon Press, Elsevier.



Kockums Industrier AB, Söderhamn,Twin Bogie of an off-road  project. See Chap 'Change around the track II". Pict probably comes from 'Journal of Terramechanics', about mid-80s, Elsevier.

Airgeep II of Piasecki, 1962, now at Ft Eustis, Virginia. Piaseki Aircraft, in 1958, built the first model of Airgeep, the model 59K Sky Car, driven by two 180 hp Lycoming piston engines and in 1959 by a more powerful turbine engine. It was intended to replace off-road vehicles, without success ! That's not so easy to replace land vehicles by air ones !

Articulated chassis by Team Modify. Scale model won 'Swiss Mountain Crawl 2009'. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuuQGIxwVsg

Belted legs vehicle. Tracks from a conveyor loop and self-adjusting legs patented in 1970. It could theoretically carry men and equipment on rocky, stepped and irregular terrain. From : 'Popular Science', Jan 1971.

Dredge, Airoll type, 1960 dredge amphibious.

Lonotech I Robot, 1998-99, from Thailand, was propelled by omnidirectional wheels, or Mecanum wheels, not really off-road. The Mecanum wheel was invented by a Swedish engineer, Bengt Ilon, in 1973. Forklift trucks were built and series produced to maneuver in tight spaces like the deck of an aircraft carrier. Tracked vehicles and skid steered vehicles use the same methods to steer but damage the soil, not Mecanum wheels. Today, Mecanum wheels are used on flat and hard ground.

Omni 2 robot with Mecanum wheels from University of Western Australia, by Thomas Bräunl.    www.robotics.ee.uwa.edu.au



Amphibious vehicle of WWII in Japan. See Chapter : 'Pneumatic Tracks'. http://www.strange-mecha.com/vehicle/track/scv.htm

and the original Japanese book.


Amphibious vehicle of WWII in Japan for crossing swamps. http://www.strange-mecha.com/vehicle/track/scv.htm

and the original Japanese book.




E-4121 excavator on pneumatic tracks conceived in 1985 by ONIL VM for pipelines Bureau. These machines, produced in little series near Nizhny-Novgorod, perform work on emergency response and repair of oil and gas pipelines. It is the only pneumatic tracks built in series probably in the world.


Pneumatic tracks of E-4121 excavator.



Triangle tracks of NASA from Popular Science, Feb 1974.


Tri.on of Tuvie Design, remote controlled robot concept for firefighting. Tracks are driven and the whole triangular wheel can roll.   http://www.tuvie.com/




Delta Beetle, Gold Medal at the Toyota Idea Olympics in 1991, year competition of the employees of Toyota was very prolific. The triangular wheels were powered on their own axle and a drive belt around the wheels could be driven independently. The vehicle could climb stairs. Terrastar and Landmaster had Tri-Star wheels but no tracks. Documentation J M M from Toyota.



Floating wheels of Straussler in 1951-52 on a Willys MB, also tried on FV1800 Mudlark (Wolseley) and VLRD (Delahaye). These inflatable wheels enable vehicle to float and to give cross-country capabilities by mean of a 'simple' attachment. Pict from 'Wheels and Tracks' N° 44, 1993.



Ford M151 with M3 Flotation Kit, 1965, of Goodyear Rubber Company. Tests were successful. Picture from book of Fred Crismon ‘US Military Wheeled Vehicles’, Crestline Publishing (Motorbook), 1983.





Kristi KT-4



Kristi Water Walker, Amphibious, 1962, issued from KT-4 but with buoyant bags fitted on tracks to move on water as the Scaled Test Bed. Steering on dry soil must be a problem. Picture from book of Fred Crismon ‘US Military Tracked Vehicles’, Motorbook International Publishers & Wholesellers, 1992.



Spherical Drive System on a motorbike. It's a project of the San Jose State University College of Engineering.    http://sphericaldrive

system.com/?gallery=image-gallery    http://sphericaldrive



Stellar Eagle Lander project led by Keith Goeller. Star wheels are used on this artist's conception.      http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23284596/ns/technology_and_science-space/t/teams-shoot-moon/#.UKscZqOa9lo



Gato Arana seen at the Motor Show of Barcelona in 1972. He could climb steps of 1 m by using rotors. On the other side, it seems that the minor wheels were fixed on rotors. Jóse Artes de Arcos, 1893-1985, important Spanish cars industrial: ‘Fabrica de Accesorios para Automobiles y Motocycletas', Barcelona, built in 1971 the amphibian 6x6 ‘El Gato Montes' and this one that looks like a little Terrastar. Does it still exists ? Pict from the book ‘Les Véhicules Hors Série’ of Jacques Borgé and Nicolas Viasnoff, Balland, 1976.




Terrastar in Lego without and with tracks.    http://www.doublebrick.ru/



Lego Tri Star Wheeled Twister, 2010. The body can tilt longitudinally.    http://www.youtube.com/

watch?v=82Cch5XuG3I :

tri-star-wheeled-vehicle-in-lego.mp4 Tri-star-wheeled-vehicle-in-lego.mp4



Terrastar of Lockheed of 1967 was built in a very creative period (60s and 70s) in all fields particularly that of off-road locomotion, but idea was not new. Today, research continue and there is new prototypes although much more conventional.



US003208544-001 Stepping wheel vehicle, 1965.



Terrastar of Lockheed Aircraft Service Company, CA, in 1967. The vehicle performed very well in mud. See chapter : 'The Wheel Reinvented'. Documentation J M M of Lockheed.

Terrastar Marginal Amphibian of Lockheed


Terrastar earlier prototype, whose construction was subcontracted to Frank Curtis in 1967. Documentation J M M of Lockheed.


Terrastar of Forsyth Brothers of Lockheed Aircraft Service Company in 1967. At that time, Lockheed diversified, as many aircraft companies, in off-road vehicles. The idea of this one came from old patents for minor and major wheels, named Tristar wheels. It could climb stairs but performed better in mud than on rocks. Speed : 55 km/h, skid steering, Empty mass : 1120 kg, total mass 1635 kg. Documentation J M M from Lockheed.


 Tri-Star Wheel of M2A2 Terrastar of Lockheed in early 70s. It is displayed now at Rock Island Arsenal. http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/showthread.php?153774-M2A2-TerraStar-semi-SPA



Terra Star staying at Waterways Experiment Station, Vickburg, Mississipi, in 2012.               http://www.com-central.net/index.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=15161



Paramount Midori Astro Car is a Japanese toys of the 70s based on the Terrastar. The X-11000 from Paya, Spain was also based on the same vehicle.






Meccano model of Terrastar, 1986. This model has been constructed by the author in 1972 and removed in 2000.



12x12 Landmaster in Damnation Alley. Built in 1977 by Dan Jeffries Automotive, Universal City at Los Angeles, CA, for the film Damnation Alley whose it was the highlight. The 3-Star Wheels are as on the Terrastar of Lockheed but the latter was not articulated. The Landmaster was parked from 1977 to 2005 at Cahuenga Boulevard, North Hollywood, sold and restored in 2005. J M M archives from Dan Jeffries.


Landmaster. Documentation J M M from Dan Jeffries.


Landmaster in construction showing chassis and engine Ford 7 l, mass 10 T. J M M archives from Dan Jeffries.


Landmaster in construction. J M M archives from Dan Jeffries.


Landmaster, film crew.

J M M archives from Dan Jeffries.



Landmaster. Film shooting. J M M archives from Dan Jeffries.


Landmaster. J M M archives from Dan Jeffries.



J M M archives from Dan Jeffries.


Tractor mounted on Stilts, 1954, moved in sweet-corn fields of California. It was used to dust and detassel corn. This tractor moved where wheeled ones could not. Nevertheless, given its high, it was not designed for slopes. http://blog.modernmechanix.com/tractor-mounted-on-stilts-is-used-to-dust-and-detassel-corn/

US001219637-001 Traction vehicle with bendable tracks, 1917.

US003695736-002 Endless track vehicle, 1972

US001316092-001 Curvable caterpillar

US002061290-001 Bendable track on motorbike, 1936.



ELMS simplified drawing represents the first page of the 'Rover Mobility Performance Evaluation Tool' (RMPET) of Nildeep Patel, software predicting robots performances.


Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA Rover. It's the drawing of a rover equipped with ELMS in the 80s. Documentation J M M from JPL.

Loopwheel Suspension System



ELMS at Computer Museum, Mountain View, CA, at the end of the 80s one day the ELMS Rover (on left) was exhibited outside the entrance of the museum.



Elastic Loop Mobility System ELMS tested by WES, Waterways Experiment Station in 1973 for NASA. The ELMS, developed in 1971 by Lockheed Corporation, made of titanium or fiber material was not a tracked device but provided same advantages in soft soils and was able to negotiate higher obstacles. See Chapter : 'Changes Around the Tracks III.


ELMS Elastic Loopwheel Mobility Concept



US004378133-005 Loop Track Mobility System, 1983.

us004378133-001-loop-track-mobility-system-1983-2l.pdf us004378133-001-loop-track-mobility-system-1983-2l.pdf



Lockheed Loopwheel Concept Vehicle, 1960, bases on M274 Mule.  A flexible titanium band (later in composite materials) replaced the wheels and suspension. Little wideness of the bands did not allowed low ground pressure. Picture from book of Fred Crismon ‘US Military Tracked Vehicles’, Motorbook International Publishers & Wholesalers, 1992.

hubless-wheel-elms.mp4 Hubless-wheel-elms.mp4



US002711221-001 Elliptical wheel, Kopczynski, 1955.



Elliptical Wheel of John Kopczynski patented in the 40s and tested on scale models and the M7 prototype. Osmund Anthony Goulden tested also a scale model in 1955. See Chapter 'The Wheel Reinvented'. Did Kopczinski and Goulden knew each other ? http://blog.hemmings.com/

index.php/2009/11/24/wobbly-wheels-and-ferraris/ from Mechanix Illustrated, Aug 1949.

Trucks walk on wheels

Elliptical Wheels


GB945375 Elliptical wheels from O.A. Goulden, 1961. Kopczinski had been the first to take patent on elliptical wheels. Did they know each other ?



Rotoped of Julius Mackerle from Car Research Institute of Prague in 1958 was intended to move on moon. See Chapter 'the Wheel Reinvented'. From the review 'Popular Science' 1970.

 Rotoped of Julius mackerle



Julius Mackerle & Rotoped ÚVMV, Praha. Photo by the courtesy of Mr Ivan Mackerle. http://www.flickr.com/photos/fkada/4408509148/ 




LTSS, Light Track Suspension System of Caterpillar. These rubber tracks were mounted on Water Purification Trailer of Lohr Company, France. J M M archives.


LTSS. Water Purification Trailer. J M M archives.



Baker Tank, 8x8 1942 and 4x4, 1941 from Baker Manufacturing Co. Models only but the principle was proved viable. http://www.warwheels.net/Baker8x8Jumping




Boirault Machines, 1915, was an early land ship made of an outer deformable like track skeleton with an engine in the middle. In 1916, the second Boisrault Machine (upper) was not more successful. Speed very low, 1 km/h, these machines could not be steered.


Kind of tracks with Peugeot HP 28. In 1908, it ran 450 km between Biskra and Touggourt and in 1909 150 km between Tebessoy and Gafsa in Tunisia. www.strangernn.




Squirrel Cage, 1950, tested at Quantico, Virginia. Poor traction between tires and cage, too heavy and without steering. Nevertheless, an invention is always worth to be tried. Picture from book of Fred Crismon ‘US Military Tracked Vehicles’, Motorbook International Publishers & Wholesellers, 1992.




US002786540-001a. Non circular wheels, 1957.


Advertising of the German Bohnenkamp tires at Agritechnica 2011. Pict Nathan Thomas and Jean-Pierre Noret from review 'Tracteurs Passion et Collection' Jan-Feb 2012.



Omni-crawler-robot, 2011, of Osaka University. It is fitted with a unique Omni-Ball drive. Meanwhile, it needs hard and flat ground and is not truly off-road.  http://www.robots-



NXT tracked amphibious in LEGO.  http://bluetoothkiwi.

blogspot.fr/   and     http://thenxtstep.blogspot.fr/2008/07/nxt-amphibious-vehicle.html


NXT amphibious vehicle : Front


Gauthier hopping car, 1913, invented by Gauthier, Blois, France, to resolve problems of obstacle crossing, roads being very bad at that time. Compressing a spring on each wheel when moving forward at 35 km/h, the car jumps 1,5 m high and 6 m is landing away. Contacted, Army did not follow. Pict from the book ‘Les Véhicules Hors Série’ of Jacques Borgé and Nicolas Viasnoff, Balland, 1976.


Inflatable track, 1959.

US003372766 for on and off-road, 1968.

US003529688-002 Tracked wheel-chair, 1970.

Single steerable track vehicle, 1971.

us3565198-single-steerable-track-vehicle-1971-2l.pdf US3565198-single-steerable-track-vehicle-1971-2l.pdf

US003934943-002 Steerable Bending Track Vehicle, 1975.

US003934943-002 Steerable Bending Track Vehicle, 1975.

US004453611-002 Bendable one track vehicle, 1984.

us004453611-bendable-one-track-vehicle-1984.pdf US004453611-bendable-one-track-vehicle-1984.pdf

US004714125-003 Snowmobile with bendable track.

US005791425-013 Transport on irregular surface, 1998.



Traction Hipkins device, 1941-42 was not for road, nor for sand, because it dig this later and buried the vehicle. More, the crew had to mount and un-mount the device. Adjust air pressure in the tires is always much better. Picture from book of Fred Crismon ‘US Military Tracked Vehicles’, Motorbook International Publishers & Wholesellers, 1992.


Wheel traction with chains and very low ground pressure tires for locomotion. These later don't become bogged in mud and wrap around unequal way.


Wheel traction. Some different systems to increase off-road mobility.



Neuson Excavator is fitted here with a non-driven roller of stabilization. If it was driven, this could help to move better. Picture at Euroforest, St Bonnet-de-Joux, France, June 2003.



Gismo Machine built by Sanford-Day Iron works, Inc., Knoxville, USA, for Grandview of American Zinc in 1954. The tracked non-driven trailer at the front was self-loading and unloading. From 'Machine Mobile Evolution' of AIPETOHAC of Francis Pierre, 1993 08.




Jet propulsion for off-road vehicles, Russia, in the 70s. From YouTube.




Off-road vehicle with jets : top Chevrolet 1948, below  1964. Jets help in difficult crossing. From 'Popular Mechanics', Sept 1948. http://books.google.fr/









Trials of jets for trucks in 1948 to help in mud and steep roads. Loaded of 33-ton, this 6x6 truck has 12 Jato auxiliary jets engines of 500 hp, 5 on each side, and 2 front to blow mud out of the path. Pict from 'Popular Mechanics', Sept 1948.

Jets for trucks




Louis Vannod project of 1939 presented wheels in diamond pattern and retractable tracks. Mass 550 kg, speed 80 km/h, intended to replace motorcycles.

 Pict from the book ‘Les Véhicules Hors Série’ of Jacques Borgé and Nicolas Viasnoff, Balland, 1976.




US004530545-002 Pneumatic track of Bertelsen, 1985.


US4778019 patent. Sealed tracks with inside pressure for sealing.



US005881831-003 Multi-terrain amphibious vehicle, 1999.


Half-wheels off-road Meccano/Erector model. Half-wheels go onto obstacle but, as the half-wheels are packed in 180 °, on flat ground, vehicle moves smoothly. on flat ground, vehicle remains horizontal. Model and picture of J M M in 2009 05.



Varlet Tank. See Chap 'Change around the track I'. from www.aviamor.ru


Varlet Tank


Controlled suspension from USA in the 70s. Sensors could predict terrain profile in order to lift or lower hydraulically the wheels of the tracked vehicle at the right time.  From site :  http://armor.kiev.ua/



 Expendable Wheels Toy of the 80s. When wheels were stopped, they increase its diameter. Seen on YouTube :  80_s_Power_Machines_

Commercial__FLEX power Tonka.


 Tractor spider  from Walter Ruda on www.farmphoto.com

It is also mentioned in Chap ‘Walking, Hopping, Spherical and WSL Robots and vehicles’. It can be seen here another inscription.


 Wheel of Major-General Fuller, GB, Complex and probably unreliable. Posted by Robert Grauman on the excellent site : http://www.practical






Wheel of André Dunlop 1861. Levers and short rails for this 'improved rail-wheel for chars'.     



Walking wheel of Clarke 1891. There were no spokes and rim. The system was very slow.     http://armor.kiev.ua/lib/tank/1-2/t2.html


US006517457-027 curved track  patent


First tracked steam tractor from John Gitkota, 1832, England. A proto was built and tested in wet areas.    http://armor.kiev.ua/lib/



Chain around wheel of Lewis Gompers 1831. It looks like Koppish system.



Benson Farm Locomotive, 1886. Pict posted to site 'practicalmachinist' by Robert Grauman from The Scientific American of February 20, 1886.



US005881831-003 Multi-terrain amphibious vehicle, 1999.

Rivet Tractor, 1970. This acrobatic tractor could climb on uneven terrains. From 'Popular Science', Oct 1970.

US003533483-002 Rivet Tracked vehicle, 1970.

US003533483-004 Rivet Tracked Vehicle, 1970.



Bonmartini Roller tracks on Fiat 25C and trailer, 1961. These free rotating rubber rollers on tracks allowed to reduce friction when changing direction mainly on hard surfaces. Pict from 'The Engineer', July 21, 1961.

Off-road Locomotion


Experimental pneumatic tracks on Lombartini Castoro tractor for agriculture, Aosta, 1961. The tracks are moved by friction between bars connecting the flanges of the rear wheel and the track. The lubricating pump can be seen at the front wheel. Pict from 'The Engineer', July 21, 1961.

Pneumatic Tracks Bonmartini

Union of pneumatic and track

Lombardini Castoro. Picture from the book of  Richard H Robinson: ‘Crawler Tractor Scrapbook’ Part Three, Country Life Ltd, New Zealand, 2000.



Propelled platform SPGD (Spherical Pneumatic Tracks Propulsion), of Elia Monin of Dubna. They look like a segmented Rolligon with an overall stuck rubber band. On the patent, a large envelope covers the whole. Prototype is not finished.

http://translate.google.fr/translate?hl=fr&sl=ru&tl=fr&u=http%3A%2F%2Fstrannik.flyboard.ru%2F  and   http://strannik-v.ru/topic211.html ;




Curtiss-Wright Model 2500 Air Car, 1960. Тhis new air car, very innovative at that time, could travel at 61 km/h at 635 to 965 mm above the ground. It was commercially conceived but fairly maneuverable and not all terrain. Two 180 Lycoming engines, front and rear. It stays now at Transportation Museum, Fort Eustis, Virginia. Picture from www.justacarguy.blogspot.com



Hovertruck at WES Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, Mississippi. A platform suspended on air cushion with driven wheels for moving was conceived to transport oilfield equipment on muskeg of Canada. The wheels could be replaced by a tracked vehicle like Foremost or Bombardier to move the platform as a trailer. From the 60's or 70's.            http://www.americansabbatical





Air Cushion Platform payload 450 t, from Hovertrailers International Ltd and ACE & Markley, GB, in the 70's. Very low ground pressure allowed it to move on muskeg, Canada, thanks to pulling tracked vehicles (like Nodwell or Bombardier). They had additional non-driven steering wheels. However, lateral inclined surfaces caused excessive forces in the wheels and in 1973 was conceived Aerobac AB7 with air cushion and tracks whose the ratio useful mass / total mass was not good and the project, funded by Transport Canada, did not exceed the stage of the model. From 'Machine Mobile Evolution' from AIPETOHAC of Francis Pierre, 1994 08



An air cushion trailer and a tracked vehicle, total mass 6 t, moving both on swamp at 80 km/h in USSR in 1973. Similar vehicles were tested in Canada jointly with Bertin, France. Pict from the review : 'L'Automobile', Dec 1973.



AT-L Tracked tractor and air cushioned platform, prototype. Mass of tractor 6,3 t, payload 2 t, 96 hp, speed 42 km/h. Ground pressure 0,45 kg/cm².  Picture from the book of Alain Dupouy, Auto-éditeur : 'Tracteurs et Engins Spéciaux Chenillés Soviétiques’  Tome II', 1986.




Adams Wagons Ltd produced in 1983 these wide polyurethane wheels of 1.050 m diameter and 900 mm wide to reduce ground pressure on their 6 tons capacity trailer in peat.



Mitsubishi Big Foot won Grand Prix of Idea in 1991. Each wheel can differ according to 8 segments and follow terrain and soil. Picture from review 'Auto Verte', Dec 1991.



US3814046 patent. An articulated chassis is used with the inverted torus.



Toroidal locomotion by inverted torus of Dr Valery Shihirin immigrated to USA in 2001 is a really new application. www.elastoneering.com and Chapter 'Pneumatic Tracks' of present site. Toroidal locomotion allows very low ground pressure but all problems are not resolved.



Toroidal locomotion by inverted torus of Dr Valery Shihirin.

Research on inverted torus seems to be continued since 2008 by Roman Maksymenko of Max-Master, region of Moscow : http://max-master.com/   




Hirotoshi Hikota vehicle for disabled presented at the Toyota Olympic Ideas about 2000. That year, competition of employees of Toyota was relayed by the media. Here was an all-terrain vehicle with new concept of tracks surrounding a wheel and a star-wheel.



Vehicle for disabled, of Hirotoshi Hikota. Picture from 'Livre Mondial des Inventions' by Anne-Valérie Giscard D'Estaing, about 2001, Ed. Cie 12.



Meccanum wheel on obstacle    http://www.youtube.com



Scorpa Quad Trial, 2007, is a four wheel bicycle driven by Yamaha motor. Is it really off-road ? http://moto.caradisiac.com/



Tweel of Michelin, 2008, puncture-proof tire. It consist of a round honeycomb wrapped around the wheel hub which itself is wrapped with thick heavy-duty tread. http://www.markstechno





Drawing of special vehicles on a Russian Magazine : Model Builder, 1976, N° 6.




which can be translated in English by the search engine.


Drawings of a Russian Magazine Model Builder, 1976, N° 6. See the site : http://hobbyport.ru/mk_other/


_vezdehody.htm which can be translated in English by your search engine.



Terraplane BC7 of Bertin Company, Castillon la Bataille, after BC4 and BC6, in the mid-60s, with 4-wheel drive and 10 air cushions. A smaller version, the T3S, succeeded to BC7. http://aernav.free.fr/



Aérobac AB7 scaled model from Canada and SEDAM (Société d'Etudes et de Développement des Aéroglisseurs Marins) from the 80s with tracks and air cushions. Larges air cushioned platform were pulled in 1973 by tracked vehicles on Muskeg and thus the idea of Aerobac was born. But the ratio between payload and empty mass was poor and no customers were interested. http://aernav.free.fr/




Terraplane Bertin BC8, 1966, was tested by Bertin Company, Tarnos, France, at Angers on La Maine River. Sustenance was produced by Marboré reactor of 400 kg of thrust feeding 7 skirts and propulsion screws by Artouste turboprop. Payload 2000 kg. It was of course amphibious and skirts helped pass over small obstacles on land. It was marketed, without success. After this vehicle, Bertin Company was split : SEDAM, Société d'études et de Développement des Aéroglisseurs Marins and Société de l'Aérotrain. Picture from Francis Pierre, Salon du Bourget, 1966.



Wheelchair KSK23 climbs stairs. www.roboken.esys.



Tractor and tracked gantry : its name in Russia is Puteukladchick for construction of railway rails. This crane serves also for construction of roads, bridges, pipes. Although equipped with tracks, this big rig is not truly off-road but unusual.   http://bse.sci-lib.com/article094281.html


Tracked Wheeled support of camera. Pict J M M at Intermat, Villepinte, 2009 04.


Projects TV21 Snow train and Sand Flea (with a tire filled with reserve of water) early concepts of toys.              http://projectswordtoys.



Probieda with propeller in the 50s. Motor sleds are well and only suited for large flat snow covered spaces. Pict from the review 'Tout Terrain 82', Auto Loisirs, Editions P.A.L., 1982, by Jean Gabriel Jeudy.


Botrail Tractor prototype date from mid-1910s to 1920 and built in England from patent of Frank Bottrill, Australia, 1912. See chap 'Change around the tracks I'.    //bp1.blogger.com