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С Днём ВМФ! Ура! Ура! Ураааааааааа!!!
November 2, 2012 7:27 AM   Subscribe

Was this a real Soviet fast torpedo boat, or flying boat, or just a really cool artist's conception? I've never seen anything like it.
posted by three blind mice to Technology (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
It is the Lun class ekranoplan.
posted by griphus at 7:29 AM on November 2, 2012


It's an Ekranoplan.
posted by aramaic at 7:29 AM on November 2, 2012


Ekranoplan!
posted by lantius at 7:29 AM on November 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's an Ekranoplan, a massive ground effect vehicle. The idea behind that Russian one was to carry troops at high speed over water, as an amphibious landing craft that's much faster than a hovercraft or ship, and more efficient than a plane.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:29 AM on November 2, 2012


Many thanks. What a beauty.
posted by three blind mice at 7:31 AM on November 2, 2012


So here's something:
Russian:
П.С. Картинку выбрал не случайно - после выпуска я был назначен на должность помощника командира корабля экраноплана "Лунь".

English via Google Translate:
PS Image not chosen by chance - after the release, I was appointed to the position of first lieutenant winged "Lun".
That is rather strange that "корабль-экраноплан" ("ekranoplan ship") translates to "WIG craft" (WIG is for "wing-in-ground-effect") on its own (via Google Translate), but for some reason is turned into "winged" when the page itself is translated.
posted by griphus at 7:39 AM on November 2, 2012


Ekranoplans really stumped the hell out of the western analysts for a while, but indeed, they can fly over flat ground, snow, ice (say an iced-over Baltic Sea, for example), and relatively calm water. If the water's too rough for flight, it floats.
posted by Sunburnt at 7:42 AM on November 2, 2012


More ekranoplans: 1, 2
posted by adamrice at 7:50 AM on November 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


From adamrice's 2nd link:
"These concepts were created in hopes to use the Earth's oceans for space launches: keep in mind that launching close to equator allows for 1.7 - 2 times heavier payload. The Sea-Launch project is already in full swing (facilitating vertical launches), however for the Shuttle-like horizontal launches and landings, Russian engineers propose to use a fleet of heavy ekranoplans
Is the increased payload at the equator due to increased rotational velocity adding to the lift somehow?

Regardless: AWESOME!
posted by IAmBroom at 9:22 AM on November 2, 2012




Also called the Caspian Sea Monster by US intelligence, because what else are you going to call it.
posted by ckape at 11:43 AM on November 2, 2012


By the way, it's fitted with loads of jet engines-- it would've been breathtakingly loud to be in the big one in the photo, but there are smaller ones that don't require all that power.

Still, you'd have at least a couple minutes' warning that the amphibious invasion is occurring, assuming the Soviet Navy weren't shelling the snot out of your beach to begin with. Our own LCAC hovercraft are also astonishingly loud, and the result is the same.
posted by Sunburnt at 11:58 AM on November 2, 2012


I also like the little fire-control cockpit just beneath the missile tube... I don't understand how the operators didn't die in an rocket-exhaust BBQ.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:05 PM on November 2, 2012


Derail:

Is the increased payload at the equator due to increased rotational velocity adding to the lift somehow?

You're on the right track. Essentially, to escape the surface of any planet, you need to get enough speed relative to the center of that planet. If you're already moving faster (as at the Equator), then the Earth's rotation does a lot of the work for you. This is why the Space Shuttle launched from Florida. You want to launch your rocket from a point as far south as possible, in the direction of the rotation of the Earth, i.e., East — and if you launch over the ocean, you're less likely to cause property damage should things go wrong.

posted by Johnny Assay at 2:14 PM on November 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


These concepts were created in hopes to use the Earth's oceans for space launches: keep in mind that launching close to equator allows for 1.7 - 2 times heavier payload.

This is part of it. Keep in mind that the USSR did not have a good southerly launch location, resulting in very high inclinations for almost all of its space operations -- eventually up to and including Mir and then ISS. The Shuttle paid a steep price in available cargo mass to reach the ISS. While mass ratios and fuel and other considerations probably mean this just wasn't feasible, it was attractive to the Soviet space program because they could have theoretically then launched from international waters.

say an iced-over Baltic Sea, for example

Although clearly the USSR bordered on a several places these could be useful -- the Baltic, but also the Black Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk -- I have little doubt that the overall concept was inspired in part by the massive resupply effort for the Siege of Leningrad across the frozen Lake Ladoga.
posted by dhartung at 11:00 PM on November 2, 2012


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