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July 12, 2010

Ekranoplan — Once upon a time in the U.S.S.R.

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From English Russia:

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1987 was the year when the first-350 ton ground effect "ship" in a series of Soviet battle missile carriers was produced.

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It was called "Lun" after the Russian name for a bird of prey, the hen harrier.

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Another name for this vehicle was Project 903.

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It carried 6 Moskit cruise missiles (SS-N-22 Sunburn in NATO classification).

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Being hit by four of them causes inevitable sinking of a vessel of any known type and size.

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The second Lun-class battle aircraft was supposed to be produced in several years, but due to the end of Cold War and partial disarmament, the project was changed to a rescue aircraft and it was never finished. 

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This type of vehicle is called in Russian "ekranoplan," it uses so-called "ground effects" — extra lift of large wings in proximity to the surface.

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For this reason they have been designed to travel at a maximum of three meters above the sea but at the same time provide take-off, stable "flight" and safe landing in conditions of up to 5-meter waves.

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These craft were originally developed by the Soviet Union as high-speed military transports, and were based mostly on the shores of the Caspian Sea and Black Sea.

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In 2005 craft of this type have been classified by the International Marine Organization so they probably should be considered flying ships rather than swimming planes.

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It is also interesting to note that this aircraft is one of the largest ever built, with a length of 73.8 meters (comparing with 73 of Airbus A380).

July 12, 2010 at 10:01 AM | Permalink


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Comments

Speaking of flying. If there's anybody left who hasn't seen this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PCOcyt7BPI

Posted by: Flautist | Jul 13, 2010 4:01:34 AM

Brother - there was a definitive school of Soviet engineering - BIG and hulking. The Vostoks were another in this class of hulking design - despite their looks they worked very well. http://bit.ly/a5mtQE

Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Jul 12, 2010 4:29:22 PM

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