Sneaking to the Unknown Ekranoplan

Sneaking to the Unknown Ekranoplan

We’ve mentioned a few Ekranoplans on ER before. And frankly, I thought most of those vehicles that were built to fly very low above the surface of the Earth were discontinued and abandoned. However, it seems that there are a few, or at least one, that can be met deep in the warehouses of large factories that have never surfaced and never had a flight. Here is one of them – the Ekranoplan “Spasatel” or “The Rescuer”.

  

Sneaking to the Unknown Ekranoplan

It was found by a group of enthusiasts in the docking facility where for decades the ships were built – first in Soviet Russia, later in modern Russia.

Sneaking to the Unknown Ekranoplan

The dock is a pretty large site, as it can host larger boats whole.

Sneaking to the Unknown Ekranoplan

Sneaking to the Unknown Ekranoplan

But besides the boats, the explorers managed to find something else..

Sneaking to the Unknown Ekranoplan

That was a real Ekranoplan from the Soviet times. The guys say that Ekranoplans were planned to be used widely by Soviet military commanders, they wanted tens of such machines, armed with guns and anti boat missiles. However, only a few were actually built.

Sneaking to the Unknown Ekranoplan

This particular Ekranoplan was also built for military use, however later they tried to change its profile for civil use. That’s where it got it’s name. The ship has got eight (!) turbo jet engines. It was planned to be used on shipwreck sites for bring life boats on its wings for rescuing people. Also, there is a place for doctors and medical equipment on board.

Sneaking to the Unknown Ekranoplan

However, it never had its first flight, it stays here in a preserved condition, with some parts of the vehicle dismounted. The photographers say that it might be moved to a museum one day, however as of now those who want to take a look at this Ekranoplan have got to sneak illegally into this dock.

Sneaking to the Unknown Ekranoplan

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2 thoughts on “Sneaking to the Unknown Ekranoplan”

  1. The problem with the Ekranoplane was that it couldn’t be used in anything other than almost perfect weather. It needed smooth surface water to operate. And because you couldn’t predict the weather, or use it when you needed to, they scrapped it.
    They had two people working on it. The guy that originally came up with the idea, and then when he couldn’t make it work, they transferred it to somebody else, and he couldn’t make it work either.

    Great idea, just doesn’t work. Or, not when you need it to anyway.

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