Why fly when you can plane?
On the off-chance that there are those of you who have not yet seen this beast, above is the Ekranoplan MD-160, a Ground Effect Vehicle used by the navies of USSR and Russia from 1987 until the late 1990s. The class is 'Lun' which is based on the Russian for Harrier (although it couldn't be confused with the BAE type of the same name) and it's classed as a maritime ship by the IMO.
Powered by no less than eight turbofans producing around 300,000lbk of thrust (that's about the same as 2.5 Rolls Royce Trent engines) and with a crew of 15, the Ekranoplan can travel 1,200 miles at a top speed of 342 mph, all of it only 13 ft above the water surface.
Although 90% of a Field Hospital version was produced, the funding ran out leaving the MD-160, complete with its 4 cannon and 6 P-270 Mosquito guided missiles, as the sole example of this extraordinary hybrid. It can still be seen in dry dock at the Kaspiysk naval station on the shore of the Caspian Sea.
Thanks to ebaumsworld.com for Picture #1, the second picture is in the public domain
Apprreciate you blogging this
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Aeronautical enthusiast dedicated to sharing his passion.