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Old October 9th, 2006, 05:25 AM   #1
Similos
 
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Russia building new "Caspian Sea Monster"

Against popular belief, there are still some good news coming out of Russia
Life goes on.


Wikipedia says:
Quote:
An ekranoplan (Russian: экранопла́н, literally "screen plane") is a vehicle resembling an aircraft, but operating solely on the principle of ground effect. Ground effect vehicles (GEV) fly just above any flat surface, with the height above ground dependent upon the size of the vehicle.


The "Caspian Sea Monster" model KM ekranoplanDuring the Cold War, ekranoplans were sighted for years on the Caspian Sea as huge, fast-moving objects. The name Caspian Sea Monster was given by U.S. intelligence operatives who had discovered the huge vehicle, which looked like an airplane with the outer halves of the wings removed. After the end of the Cold War, the "monster" was revealed to be one of several Russian military designs meant to fly only a few meters above water, saving energy and staying below enemy radar.

The KM, as the Caspian Sea Monster was known in the top secret Soviet military development program, was over 100 m long (330 ft), weighed 540 tonnes fully loaded, and could travel over 400 km/h (250 mi/h), mere meters above the surface of the water. Another model was the Lun-class. The ekranoplan has a lifting power of 1,000 tonnes, one of the biggest lifting powers in the world.


Quote:
Both to Fly and to Swim

The military want to build a wing-in-ground-effect vehicle of humongous size

They have decided to revitalize a unique direction in aircraft construction at the defense ministry: the construction of wing-in-ground-effect vehicles ((EHKRANOPLAN)) – airplanes which are able to take off and land on water. Vice premier and defense minister Sergey Ivanov announced recently at a meeting of the naval board: "A federal targeted program will be created according to which Nizhniy Novgorod will manufacture wing-in-ground-effect vehicles" ((WIGs)). The designers of the Beriev aviation scientific and technical complex responded immediately and have promised to create the new ultra-heavy Be-2500 transport amphibious airplane.

They started talking about WIGs for the first time as early as the start of the last century. The designers noted that when an airplane takes off or lands that at several meters from the surface, where there are updrafts, a "second wind" appears with the aircraft – additional lift. They called this "ground effect" ((EHKRANNYY EFFEKT)). Then an idea arose: to create an apparatus which is able to fly, while "relying" upon the updrafts, which would allow decreasing fuel consumption by several times.

Robert Bartini began to create such an aircraft in our country as early as the '30s – the "Red Baron." An Italian aristocrat, a communist, he left Fascist Italy for the USSR, where he became a leading aircraft designer. Among his dozens of works was alto the VVA-14 ehkranolet ((wing-in-ground-effect vehicle)), the flight of which he never saw. Ten years in the GULAG and 5 years of deprivation of rights for "espionage for Mussolini," from whom he once had fled, interfered.

In the '60s, the Nizhniy Novgorod designer, Alekseev, continued this theme. He made the first combat transport assault WIG, the "Orlenok" ((eaglet)), and then the "Lun'" ((harrier)) missile-carrying WIG, which in 1987 was adopted into the Caspian flotilla. The "Lun'" with a weight of 400 tonnes was able to race above the water with a speed of 400 – 500 kilometers per hour. It was armed with "Moskit" ((mosquito)) anti-ship cruise missiles with a length of 9.4 meters, weighing 4 tonnes and with a flight speed of 2,800 kilometers per hour which were able to strike targets at ranges up to 90 kilometers.

The Americans called the "Lun'" the Caspian Monster for the unique combat characteristics and allocated nearly five billion dollars for development of its counterpart, which they have not been able to make up to this time. But in Russia, where two such missile carriers were built, they just forgot about them in the meantime. One "Lun'" to this day is rusting somewhere on the Caspian, and the other as well has remained standing tied up to the factory's berth in Nizhniy Novgorod.

In fact, these vehicles fell victim to subjectivism: one naval commander-in-chief wanted to build submarines, another corvettes, considering the WIGs a hopeless amusement. The head of the ministry of emergency situations, Sergey Shoygu, was unable finally to forget about them, having purchases several Be-200 WIGs ((sic)) for his agency, which are being used successfully for extinguishing forest fires and rescuing people on water.

And now they have remembered the Wigs again. This time, it would seem, it also has not come about without "subjectivism" – the influence of the new naval commander-in-chief, Vladimir Masorin, is being felt. In 1996 – 2002, he commanded the Caspian flotilla, where, no doubt, he was able to get acquainted with the unique capabilities of these vehicles.

The Be-2500 actually will be a monster – its takeoff weight is 2,500 tonnes. Useful payload is up to 1,000 tonnes. Wing span is 125 meters, length is 115 meters and height is 29 meters. Cruising speed at altitude is 770 kilometers per hour, and in ground effect is 450 kilometers per hour. For comparison: wing span of the Boeing 747 is 64.4 meters, the airplane's length is 70.6 meters, and height is 19.4 meters.

...And so, it is possible, the Russian WIGs will be luckier in the new century than in the last. If, of course, some kind of regular "change of commander" once again does not turn this unique direction in aviation into a "hopeless amusement."

Source: 28.09.06, Moskovskiy Komsomolets, Correspondent: Ol’ga Bozh’eva








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Old October 9th, 2006, 05:29 AM   #2
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Well, I don't have time to read the whole article, but by the gist of it, I see that it will be able to land and take off from water? That's really great! It could be really helpful in the extreme situations to make emergency landings on water, and hopefully will be able to save many lives. I hope it will get built.
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Old October 9th, 2006, 05:34 AM   #3
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woooorrrrrrd!
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Old October 9th, 2006, 05:39 AM   #4
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Wow...looks cool.
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Old October 9th, 2006, 10:46 PM   #5
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Haha, the design is.. intruiging.. All is well, but those 6 jet engines don't belong there visually..
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Old October 9th, 2006, 11:37 PM   #6
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Cool news, this was one of the most interesting 'planes' in history. For those who are interested, the ekranoplanes are visible with Google Earth. The coordinates are visible in the screenshots. Enjoy!



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Old October 10th, 2006, 10:47 AM   #7
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RIP to those who will die in the terrible accidents.
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Old October 10th, 2006, 11:08 AM   #8
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I remember in early '90s Russia wanted to share this tecnology (secret in soviet era) with Nato
They had to build a prototype of Caspian Sea Monster on Mediterraneum Sea in a factory close to La Spezia (an Italian Navy base "near" Genova)

Then I think the project ended for lack of funds...
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Old November 10th, 2006, 04:19 AM   #9
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it's not a plane. it's a ground effect vehicle, using the low lift drag features of operating few meters above ground.
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Old November 10th, 2006, 04:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocky View Post
RIP to those who will die in the terrible accidents.
Ummm ... ok?
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Old November 10th, 2006, 08:12 AM   #11
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Hmm, I was thinking this was going to be more along the lines of Loch Ness.
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Old November 10th, 2006, 09:21 AM   #12
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I dont see any market for this.
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Old November 10th, 2006, 10:16 PM   #13
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it's a fast boat. how do you not see a market?
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Old November 10th, 2006, 10:43 PM   #14
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Who needs a fast boat when you can just fly?
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Old November 10th, 2006, 10:54 PM   #15
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I heard that when your using it at the right speed for appropriate distances, the ground effect can provide very efficient adn cheap transport
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Old November 10th, 2006, 10:58 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sergei View Post
Ummm ... ok?
russian + airplanes = accidents

russian + new technology = accidents

russian + boats = accidents

russian + boats+airplanes+new technology = accidents^3


so im sad to see they will build some dangerous thing again.
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Old November 11th, 2006, 12:00 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocky View Post
russian + airplanes = accidents

russian + new technology = accidents

russian + boats = accidents

russian + boats+airplanes+new technology = accidents^3


so im sad to see they will build some dangerous thing again.
way to be stereotypical and ignorant
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Old November 11th, 2006, 12:08 AM   #18
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It's a fast boat that looks like an airplane.
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Old November 11th, 2006, 12:28 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kampflamm View Post
Who needs a fast boat when you can just fly?
Can you carry 1000tonnes of payload on airplain?
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Old November 11th, 2006, 01:42 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kampflamm View Post
Who needs a fast boat when you can just fly?
it carries more then double the weight of an aircraft and is much much more fuel efficent and can travel at almost the same speed as a 747. the only problem is that it is the most difficult vehicle to operate, even with computers. this is something the russians should be proud of. it's a great help in our time of oil crisis.
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