Soviet automobile giant ZiL (Moscow Automotive Society of Likhachov) developed this amphibious vehicle in 1975 for search and rescue operations for returning astronauts from space who used to be seated inside the small space capsules during their return journey to earth.
The basic idea was to produce a small number of emergency rescue vehicles that can be used under various climatic conditions and can withstand high winds, storms and dusty conditions to pick up astronauts falling from the sky. These vehicles could be simply air-lifted to the landing points with the help of large sized transport aircrafts or dropped by large helicopters. They could also be moved by rails if there was sufficient time.
Improvising on their earlier developed prototype vehicles, these Blue Bird's as nick-named (because of her blue paint coat) came in two versions – passenger and cargo version. Fitted with a 150 hp petrol engine, ZiL made provision for an extra pre-heating system (to fight severe and bitter Arctic cold), this vehicle also had two propellers to wade through water. On roads it would do about 75 km/hr and on water, it could wade through at 8 km/hr. A total of 28 units (both passenger and cargo versions) were built.
The passenger version was for transporting rescue teams and came in a configuration of 6 beds or 10 seats with a small medical facility. All types of equipments needed to help the astronauts were provided inside including a navigational system, high-frequency radio equipment, urgent medical care provisions, etc. To man the vehicle was a three man crew.
This cargo version had a crew of four and also carried a hydraulic crane as well as the platform to carry the space capsule to the base station.
A rare and unique collectible in resin that will grow in value with time.
|- Premium collectible|
|- Licensed product|
|- Material: RESIN|
|- High precision miniature models|
|- Non-opening bonnet, boot and doors|
|- Exclusive Edition models|
|Model Origin||U.S.S.R (Russia)|
|Box Dimension (in inches)||14 x 7 x 7.5|