Belarusian Pegasus 6×6 – 2014

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In 2014, the society “OJSC 140th Repair Plant” located in Borisov in Belarus decides to produce an original all-terrain vehicle to respond to calls for tenders from the Russian army and administration services.

historically, this factory specializes in the repair of armored and railway equipment, but also, in the study and production of all kinds of gear-conveyors-pistards for fire and emergency rescue of all kinds.

The story of Pegasus begins in 2010 with Vitaly Mazurkevich, mechanical engineer specializing in vehicles with low pressure tires for conveyances in the Arctic and South Pole.
At that time he was hired by RAF Auto to study a vehicle for the government of Latvia, project that will remain unanswered despite a good level of progress.
For the little story, Vitaly Mazurkevich is today at the head of the Litvin company which produces 6×6 Litvina 3903 Kung.
OJSC will resume the aborted project on its own in 2014 and will name it Pegasus.
According to the spokesperson for OJSC :

« Since 2014, seven copies were built, three of which were sold and one of which was handed over to border guards on a trial basis. If all goes well, we can make one car per month. And with enough orders, we are able to produce 50 vehicles per year ».

The Pegasus is therefore a vehicle built in an artisanal way and uses many components from the large series.
What strikes immediately is the 3 axles all fitted with twin wheels ! …

Inside, simplicity reigns, it's even really spartan, which is in line with Pegasus' potentially military objective.

The chassis from a small MAZ truck is modified with a square steel tubular structure and the body uses aluminum panels.
The diesel engine is well known, it is a MMZ D-245.12S-1334 of 108ch and a couple of 353 Nm and optionally we can have this same engine in version 245.7E2-398 of 122ch.

The two tanks with a total capacity of 250 liters give an autonomy of 830 km, which gives a consumption between 20 and 40 liters 100 km…

The transmission of Pegasus is a monument of complexity, because of the gearbox, a short shaft transmits the movement to a casing containing a two-stage differential, then from there, one shaft goes to the front axle and another to a second casing located between the two rear axles to finally drive them !

But that's not all, of this second casing starts another shaft which drives the rear PTO in the case of the presence of an active trailer !!!
But here's the most surprising… and what makes all the difference of the Pegasus, it’s its front axle which doesn’t have a conventional steering system but rather a simple pivot system like on a basic trailer !!!
This is why the front axle displays such a cantilever ... it is to leave the necessary clearance for the rotation of the rigid axle provided with twin wheels ...
But then, what justifies such a technical choice ?
The main argument of OJSC is that such a device greatly facilitates the exit from a deep rut relative to the wheels turning on hubs thus avoiding the handlebars ...
Of course, the steering control circuit uses a powerful hydraulic circuit from MTZ tractors, a two-cylinder metering pump, pulling and pushing.
Such a system means that the transmission on the front axle is made up of a rather delicate combination of shafts ... and the suspension calls for cantilever half-blades.
Another fairly unique feature of the Pegasus is the general kinematics of the suspensions, which are doubled each time and return load forces optimally on each wheel., and there is 12 tires !

This improves several constraints at the same time, total weight distribution on the ground, displacement and bearing capacity (charge capacity) of the machine. With a weight of almost five tonnes, the pressure on the ground is only 0,17 kg / cm².
To facilitate pressure control, all wheels are fitted with centralized overpressure control from the cab.

The load capacity varies from 1 to 1,5 tonne (depending on tire pressure), this gives a maximum load per wheel of 540 kg, an excellent result !

Pegasus thanks to these 12 tires can also perform short amphibious journeys, for now only the rotation of the wheels ensures movement and control, and maybe one day a propeller system could be added to the rear PTO.

So after the profits, there are drawbacks to having so many tires…
There is a very high rolling resistance which affects fuel consumption and this greatly limits the speed of the machine., on paved roads, Pegasus can reach only 50 km/h.
Also, in case of change, tires are very expensive.

Regarding the finish and the quality of the whole ... it's not brilliant ... either for the cockpit, the engine compartment, and for many other details. The body elements are however well adjusted.
Another negative point concerns the ergonomics of the controls which are scattered in an anarchic ways around the driver's seat ... it must be said that the reuse of many components from MAZ vehicles does not help !

So in all of this, what does driving such a machine give ?

First of all, balloon tires make steering insensitive, you must take a turn with vigilance and anticipation which is common with other vehicles thus equipped, but with the Pegasus, these reaction delays are exacerbated to extreme degrees !
And it's not just the tires, there is this famous pivot steering which lacks a direct mechanical link between the steering wheel and the wheels ... 7,5 huge steering wheel turns from stop to stop ! In short, you have to relearn how to handle a direction…
Also, handling the gear lever requires unusual dexterity due to its location and the grid, which is completely inaccurate, which is disabling when you have to react quickly !
The Pegasus is equipped with two reduction levels and each differential can be locked at 100%, which is normal on this type of machine. But then when you block the front axle ... you have to keep in mind that any attempt to take turns or maneuvers can result in a straight as soon as the wheels touch the ground !!!
It’s not a design flaw, these are the laws of physics !
Furthermore, suspension travel is very short, it is the very design of the machine that forces it, so on uneven terrain it often has an axle in the air with wheels that no longer touch the terrain ... so frequent blockages are necessary ...
And what about the turning radius… gigantic !
Non, really driving a Pegasus requires even for the most experienced a great moment of adaptation.
On the other hand, the great quality of the Pegasus is its traction capacity which never seems to fail.

In conclusion, the Pegasus is certainly a usable machine, but still very perfectible, both in the quality of its construction and in a number of specific technical solutions.
for example, the experience of the first vehicles delivered has revealed a vulnerability in the rotation mechanism of the front axle.
Pegasus still has to pass tens of thousands of kilometers of tests in all possible conditions to ensure its reliability, because for future users, sometimes it's a matter of life and death !

The price of the Pegasus in basic configuration (plateau) is about 100.000$.

Source and copyright :

Bruno Tourmen

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