Yes, the glorious days of publishing were characterized by whatever could grab your attention on the cover. Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, and Modern Mechanix led the way in eye-popping art that seemed all the more plausible because of who was publishing it. Scientists and mechanics know what they're talking about, and what would make more sense than those commies developing a scary skiing weapon? Woot! blog reviews and ponders this and other covers.
Holy crap. How did this get past Quality Control? First off, is this actually supposed to have military applications? I know this was back when Russia was pretty scary to everyone Stateside, but a fire engine red propeller on skis with an infantryman strapped to the front isn't very stealthy. Imagine a squad of 10 or 20 guys motor-skiing around the Siberian plains wondering why the enemy is always gone at least a half hour before they show up. Suppose they find some bad guys. Do they just park that thing and hop off? It's a pretty easy marker for a sniper down range. And what the hell happens if a guy lets go of the handles accidentally while he's moving? I have to assume he turns into an Army guy smoothie.