The most bizarre jet ever imagined (18 Photos)

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Over the years, Russians have had some catastrophically bad engineering failures, perhaps none bigger (literally) than the Ekranoplan. In 1987, they began construction on a 350 ton ground effect “ship”. Powered by 8 jets, this thing didn't even have landing gear, instead it was designed to land in the water - in waves up to 15 feet tall.
Ekranoplan carried 6 Moskit cruise missiles with NATO 'sunburn' classification. Sadly the partial disarmament treaty Russia signed with the US put this monstrosity on hold and it never saw its maiden flight, which would have ended in a spectacular water-tastrophy I'm sure.

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  • Hicks

    I'm a pilot. If somebody told me my new job was to fly that, there would be a problem.

  • Ian

    oh my god – seriously? Guys, there are pictures all over the web of this beast flying. From one website I just happen to click on:

    "The KM, also dubbed the Caspian Sea Monster by American observers who spotted the craft in satellite surveillance, remained in use until 1980 when it crashed during takeoff."

    Please, please do some basic research before you post trash ( The blurb, not the photos – photos are awesome, but I do believe they are straight from englishrussia {dot}com )

  • Gene

    This was not an aircraft, it was a high-speed ground effect vehicle designed for rapid transport of troops, material, and high-speed attack across bodies of water.

  • Viking

    You can get a hell of a write up about this ground effect beast at

    Just do a search on the site for "ekranoplan". There were several different sizes of these, and quite honestly, they looked mean as hell on the videos I've seen online.

    I'd like to see the U.S. fiddle around with these. The technology is wicked.

  • Wrech

    my friend saw this ekranoplan moving over the sea surface whene was at Kaspian Sea in 80-th. He said it was terrific.

  • Manticore

    The photos are of "Lun" which was indeed an ugly beast. Other comments refer to "KM8" which was considerably larger (540 tonnes @ 400 km/hr), was tested successfully but crashed when the pilot tried to continue with take off after partial engine failure. KM8, incidentally, had 10 engines – the forward ones were for take off – only the tail pair were used in cruise.

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