posted on Feb, 13 2005 @ 03:09 PM
I was in the factory and I had an interview with the Chief Designer for a complete day. I published many papers about ekranoplans in different
To Irma :
"That is indeed a fantastic piece of kit. Did nobody at the time realise that the thing would be useless if the sea was choppy. Imagine it hitting
20/30 ft waves at speed, it would surely break into pieces."
It can't be. This machine is a Cat B ekranoplan, meaning she has full flight controls and - of course - engines. In case of huge waves, the pilot can
choose a higher altitude to cruise. To give you an idea, the missile cruiser Lun' ( 3D pictures in this forum ) is 74 m long. she can alight in 3.5 m
waves, which is considerabl much more than seaplanes tolerances. The secret ? Large chord short wing and boat-type structure.
To Kenshin :
The KM ( Korabl Maket : ship model, also dubbed the "caspian Monster" ) made her 1st flight in october 1966, only 5 years after the SM-1, the first
experimental ekranoplan which was a small craft powered by one jet engine. The concept was so promising that the design bureau, led by R. Alekseyev,
decided to carry on with this almost 100 m long, 500 tons craft flying at more than 500 km/h ! In the beginning, she was flown manually ! Then, the
russians developped a sophisticated auto-pilot / navigation system. Despite of various tail numbres, only one KM was build. She flew successfully 14
years but, unfortunately, she crashed and was destroyed in 1980. The accident was due to a pilot error : he stalled during take-off phase.
Remember, in 1966, the KM was he biggest flying machine ever ! But she was one of the most kept secrets.