Russia’s Unprecedented Monster "Aircraft Ship" (53 photos, video and story)
|Low Flying Transpot Air Craft or Very High Speed Surface effect Ship?|
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In 1987 Russia produced a surface effect vessel that could reach speeds achieved only by airplanes but stayed low enough that it would hide under radar much like a stealthy boat. It had a cargo or troop capacity to rival more than one C130 transport aircraft, or a small ship. Meet the Soviet's 1987 Ekranoplan .
The Brigade.com recently featured a post on this unusual technology from the 1980's. Use any of the links in this post to reach the feature. There you will find a narrative text with a full description of this unusual craft which once plied the Caspian Sea, a total of 53 photographs of the "vessel" on the water and hauled out, as well as interior views. In our opinion while the short wings do provide some lift, as you will note in the photographs there is quite a bit of "hull" visible out of the water, that you do not see in these "in water" photos.
We believe that while the wings definitely reduced hull friction , much of the hull length remained in contact with the water, thus we classify the Ekranoplan as a high speed vessel. In her day, the Ekranoplan .was probably the highest speed vessel large enough to be of commercial or military utility. Of course this kind of speed on water is never very economical. There is no fleet of these "ships" in use today. To Read more and take in some photo and a video click on Ekranoplan