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Chkalov Aviation Plant Wedge
(Новосибирский авиационный завод имени В. П. Чкалова Клин)

Front Rear
Front Rear

Technical Details

I acquired this Russian Belay Plate from John E. Weinel, Inc. in 1994.

The Russian Belay Plate is milled from aluminum alloy and soft anodized. It has an irregular shape with a central irregular V-shaped rope groove, a round eye, a top horn and several side horns. My Ural is 50 mm. long, 130 mm. wide, 10 mm. high, and weighs 73 g.

There are no markings on this plate.


In 1994 John Weinel imported a number of these devices as curios from the Soviet Union. There were no instructions, and it wasn't clear exactly what it was or how it was used, but we guessed that it was a belay device that worked by passing a bight of rope through the long slot and around the belay carabiner. The rope could be held out of the V-slot by passing it over the notch at the top, and a fall could be stopped by letting the rope drop into the V slot. One thing we didn't like about this idea was that the sides of the V-slot were not rounded in any way, so this would be hard on the rope. A few years later Cassin introduced the Logic which is much like this device, and used in the manner described, so perhaps our guess wasn't far off.

Артём Бабин found out that these were made at the Chkalov Aviation Plant in Novosibirsk.