Meccano Magazine - April, 1940

The Antarctic Snow Cruiser
   The lower illustration on this page shows a giant Diesel-engined vehicle 55 ft. long that is now being built Chicago for use in an -pedition to the South Pole organised by the Government of the United States. It is known as the Antrtic Snow Cruiser and is a unique self-propelled vehicle equipped with a scientific laboratory and able to carrry a year's supply of provisions for a crew of four men. On its upper deck it carries an aeroplane, which will make it possible explore a strip of territory 600 miles wide, and allow the crew to map in one month more territory than all previous expeditions combined have done.
   The Snow Cruiser is mounted on four wheels, independently driven, and is capable of crossing crevasses in the ice up to 15 ft. wide. It has a cruising radius of 5,000 miles.
   In the design and construction of the vehicle every effort has been made to obtain the strongest possible structure with the least possible weight. High tensile steel structural members are used and they are fused together by the modern shielded arc process of electric welding, using the most recent Lincoln welding equipment and special Lincoln electrodes developed particularly for welding high-speed steel. If riveted construction had been employed, it is estimated that the weight woulld have been least 30 percent greater.
   Arc welding will also be an important adjunct to the polar vehicle's permanent equipment, for a Lincoln arc welding genarator of 200-ampere capacity will be permanently installed, together with a kit of Lincoln are welding electrodes. This plant will be a necessary tool for the Cruiser's machine shhp, where it will be used for repairing broken or worn machine or structural parts and in the fabrication of miscellaneous devices and equipment. In addition it may be used for charging batteries, supplying current for lighting and starting the Cruiser's engines.
   This unique vehicle was designed by the staff of the Research Foundation of Armour Institute of Technology, under the direction of Dr. Thomas C. Poulter.

The Antarctic Snow Cruiser described on this page. It will be used in an expedition to the South Pole organised by the United States Government. Photograph by courtesy of Lincoln Electric Co., Welwyn Garden City.

This page last updated: 20 February 2006