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August 16, 2013

Little known Soviet era aircraft - the Caspian Sea Monster

In keeping with being a smart military blog and all, I present the Soviet Lun ekranoplan. Specs:

  • 300mph+

  • 380 tons, 148' wingspan

  • Skims over water at 20' altitude

  • 8 jet engines

  • 50% more lift capacity than comparable size cargo planes

  • Could launch 6 mach-3 anti-ship missiles

I've always been impressed with some of the weird hardware the Soviets built. Pushing the comfortable boundaries of conventional thinking was something they weren't afraid to dabble in.

Here's a Google Maps overhead sat shot of the thing berthed. It is BIG.

This Wired article is full of interior and exterior shots and more history.

San Francisco to LA in just over an hour. I'm betting a few of these style aircraft plying that route would cost dramatically less $$$ than high speed rail. No right of ways to purchase, no hundreds of miles of rail to lay. What's not to like?

How much would it suck if you were a pirate and one of these appeared on the horizon and got all in your face going all AC-130 on your ass at 300mph...about two minutes after you first noticed it peeking over the horizon. I'm pretty sure the suck factor would be cranked up to 11.

The plane featured in the Wired piece had an even larger predecessor in the 1960's that was over 300' long.

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posted by Purp at 07:59 PM

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