Everybody wants to save the earth, nobody wants to help mom do the dishes.  --P.J. O'Rourke

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Caspian Sea Monster - Lun Ekranoplan

During the Cold War, the Soviets experimented extensively with "Ground Effect"or WIG (Wing in Ground Effect) vehicles.  Anyone who has been on a commercial flight has experienced the ground effect, to me it is most pronounced on landing as the wheels are about to touch the ground.  What's happening is the the wing lift is increasing and drag is reduced - the plane feels like it's working less hard, and that is exactly what is happening.  A plane designed to fly only a few meters above the ground or water can fly at airplane speeds and carry ship like loads.  The Soviets made a huge ground effects plane called the "Lun" Ekranoplan pictured below.  The video is a Russian TV show about the Ekranoplan program and has a cool flyby as viewed from a ship.  Boeing has one currently in design for the US Army.

Lun Ekranoplan floating, the things on top are anti sub missile tubes

Lun Ekranoplan in flight.

To learn more about the ground effect Click Here


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