All Images Copyrighted 2012.   All Unauthorized Use Prohibited.
All Images Copyrighted 2012.   All Unauthorized Use Prohibited.
Aircraft Models
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WMF - Aircraft Models
Ekranoplan

Led by Alexeyev, the Soviet Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau (CHDB) was the center of ground-effect craft development in the USSR; in Russian, the vehicle came to be known as an Ekranoplan. The military potential for such a craft was soon recognized and Alexeyev received support and financial resources from Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.

Some manned and unmanned prototypes were built, ranging up to eight tons in displacement. This led to the development of the "Caspian Sea Monster", a 550-ton military ekranoplan of 240 feet (73 m) length. The craft was dubbed the "Caspian Sea Monster" by U.S. intelligence experts, after a huge, unknown craft was spotted on satellite reconnaissance photos of the Caspian Sea area in the 1960s. With its short wings, it looked airplane-like in planform, but would obviously be incapable of flight. Although it was designed to travel a maximum of 3 m (9.8 ft) above the sea, it was found to be most efficient at 20 m (66 ft), reaching a top speed of 300 kn (350 mph; 560 km/h) (400 kn (460 mph; 740 km/h) in research flight).