A Passenger Hovercraft from the Soviet Times

A Passenger Hovercraft from the Soviet Times

Water resistance is the main problem to overcome to increase the maximum speed of a ship. That is why hydrofoils and hovercrafts have appeared. An unlimited navigation season and high speed are the main advantages of a hovercraft that can move in summer and in winter alike. But also it has one big disadvantage. That is a fuel consumption due to the necessity of powerful engines for pumping air into the air cushion .

A Passenger Hovercraft from the Soviet Times

The gas-turbine hovercraft “Sormovich” was built in 1965. During the tests the “Sormovich” reached the speed of 120 km / h, and flew above the surface of the earth at a height of 0.25 – 0.3 m, it easily overcame the shallow water and came gently onto the beach.

A Passenger Hovercraft from the Soviet Times

After successful testing, the hovercraft  “Sormovich” was put into service as passenger transportation.

A Passenger Hovercraft from the Soviet Times

“Sormovich” had a length of 29.2 m, a width of 11.33 m and a height of 7.8 m

A Passenger Hovercraft from the Soviet Times

Total area of the air cushion was 208 m2, the pressure of the air cushion – 130 kg/m2

A Passenger Hovercraft from the Soviet Times

The cruising range was about 600 km. The ship had a crew of 3 people and could carry up to 50 passengers. A passenger lounge for 50 people was placed at the bow.

A Passenger Hovercraft from the Soviet Times

A Passenger Hovercraft from the Soviet Times

The “Sormovich” was put on an experimental passenger route between Gorky and Cheboksary, which was 274 km in length, along the Volga River.

A Passenger Hovercraft from the Soviet Times

A round trip from Gorky to Cheboksary took one day.

A Passenger Hovercraft from the Soviet Times

A Passenger Hovercraft from the Soviet Times

This line worked only in 1971 and 1972. Operation was complicated by problems with the dispensing gear that failed. According to the statistics, the “Sormovich” served about 6,000 passengers.

A Passenger Hovercraft from the Soviet Times

In 1971, the “Sormovich” passed the testing in winter conditions. Tests were conducted to determine the feasibility of passenger traffic in winter. In case the “Sormovich” got stuck in ice, there was an army armored vessel prepared to rescue it. The tests were held successfully, but the idea of ​​passenger traffic in the winter was dismissed.

The reason for the decision was unclear, as the ship was designed to operate in the winter months. Perhaps it was connected with the almost completely absent infrastructure for winter navigation on the Volga river.

A Passenger Hovercraft from the Soviet Times

The gas-turbine hovercraft was decommissioned in 1974. The “Sormovich” met its end on the base in the Gorky Region. There it was brought to a state of complete disrepair, then it was cut into pieces of lifeless metal.

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2 thoughts on “A Passenger Hovercraft from the Soviet Times”

  1. Soviet hovercraft and hydrofoils always looked cool. Forget about the economics for a moment, it just looks great. Like something Frank Hampson would come up with. Thanks, EnglishRussia!

    Reply
  2. I am interested and needed of buying five of them,

    Please if those passenger overcraft still available

    And give to me it’s details and price.
    Thanks in advance.

    Reply

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