Ikarus 260

Article

January 23, 2022

The Ikarus 260 is the most successful suburban-urban solo bus in the Ikarus Body and Vehicle Factory and is known and used worldwide. The 200 bus family was built on the basis of the 1966 plans of the chief designer György Bálint, Károly Oszetzky, Jenő Mádi and József Varga Papp and the designer László Finta. The first prototype of the 260 was introduced in 1971, and series production began as early as 1972 and lasted until 2002. A total of 72,547 260 buses rolled out of the Ikarus factory in Mátyásföld and Székesfehérvár. Its success is indicated by the fact that the Soviet Union and the GDR bought the largest number of buses from most of the world, but Poland and Turkey also received and bought many items, including Venezuela, Madagascar, Syria, Taiwan and Iceland. considered a nostalgic bus after renovation. The largest purchaser in Hungary was BKV, more than 2,400 new buses were purchased between 1972 and 1992. Through the Volán companies, the 260s were also present in the local transport of rural towns as well as in intercity transport. The success was due to, among other things, the unusual design, the abandonment of the roof bend, or the huge windows that could be opened at the time, and the fact that the bus was able to meet a number of technical requirements according to the customer's needs. The work of the drivers was facilitated by the hydraulic power steering and the automatic transmission, but they were also made with a manual transmission (mainly in the intercity version), while cheaper servicing was an advantage for the operators. Its trolley version, the 260T, which, unlike the articulated one, was not mass-produced, built only two pieces, one in Budapest and the other in Weimar. As an experimental piece, in cooperation with MÁV, Ikarus also tried a rail bus converted from 260, the construction of which was ultimately unsuccessful. Compressed natural gas (CNG) units were also made in 1999, which were delivered to the Tisza Volán, and at that time the Ikarus factory also tried the renovated version of the 200 series, the Classic family, within the framework of which the Ikarus C60 bus was built, but series production fell short. The articulated version of the Ikarus 260 was the Ikarus 280, which was also a bus type produced in large numbers.

History

The family 200 was dreamed up in 1966 by György Bálint, chief designer, Károly Oszetzky, Jenő Mádi and József Parga Varga, and László Finta, the 180th, 556th and 557th designers of Ikarus. The K1 experimental piece was completed in 1970, for which the Budapest Transport Company was asked to test it. Prototype P1 was tested in the Soviet Union and prototype P2 was tested at the Automobile Research Institute (ATUKI). The latter was later rebuilt to a tropical design. The P3 prototype also went to BKV. The difference from the previously manufactured models was that the roof curve was omitted and a rectangular car body was used, bringing the upper edge of the windows high, which favored standing passengers: the common language often called the 200 series buses a “panoramic bus”. The twin doors provided faster passenger changes with an opening width of 1300 mm, and the driver's work was assisted by a Prague-type hydromechanical automatic transmission (later also made of Csepel and ZF) and a hydraulic power steering. The initial units had a specific output of 9.92 kW / tonne and could carry 75 passengers. Over the years, countless subtypes have been built to tailor the bus to the needs of the recipient countries, making it technically feasible.

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