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Ekranoplans

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Bakhesh
178722.  Tue May 29, 2007 7:47 am Reply with quote

An Ekranoplan is a hybrid of a plane and a boat. They look a little like sea planes, but they are designed to only fly at a height of a few metres above the water. This takes advantage of some unusual air dynamics above the surface of the water.

The soviets experimented with Ekranoplans during the cold war, mostly in secret. These experiments have now been made public, and the results are....well....very cool indeed.

Take this one, the "KM Caspian Sea Monster".

It was 100 meters long, and weighed 544 tons, and still holds the record for the heaviest load lifted off the ground.

They even built a battleship version...
.

There are loads more of them, and you can find info, more cool photos, and even footage (with Russian commentary) here... http://thrillingwonder.blogspot.com/2007/05/ekranoplans-showcase.html

Something for series 'E'?


Last edited by Bakhesh on Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:01 am; edited 1 time in total

 
AlmondFacialBar
178731.  Tue May 29, 2007 7:55 am Reply with quote

shame, it would have been beautiful for series e, but now it's too late to still contribute topics, they're practically done recording it. ekranoplans are nevertheless fascinating, might have a great future in cargo transport.

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
smiley_face
178734.  Tue May 29, 2007 7:56 am Reply with quote

Bakhesh wrote:
It was 100 meters long, and weighed 544 tons, and still holds the record for the heaviest load lifted off the ground.

Not too sure about that. The space shuttle weighed over two thousand tonnes.

 
mckeonj
178737.  Tue May 29, 2007 8:00 am Reply with quote

This was entered earlier, see post 157689
Civilian versions of Ekranoplan (effect plane) have been built in USA.
If you have Microsoft Flight Simulator, the Ekranoplan is available for FS2004 and FSX.

 
Efros
180460.  Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:11 am Reply with quote

For those of you who like google Earth here is a link to an Ekranoplan caught by a satellite.

http://www.gearthhacks.com/forums/downloads.php?do=file&act=down&id=20455

 
austinallegro
180570.  Tue Jun 05, 2007 12:25 pm Reply with quote

Impressive, but how long will it be until they make a hybrid of a plane, boat, car and teasmade?

 
Flash
180582.  Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:37 pm Reply with quote

AlmondFacialBar wrote:
shame, it would have been beautiful for series e, but now it's too late to still contribute topics


Don't despair ... 'F' is for 'flight'.

 
Bakhesh
190162.  Wed Jul 11, 2007 8:40 am Reply with quote

Ekranoplans are back. Apparently, the chinese are building one.....

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/07/11/chinese_sea_monster/

I imagine the US will be doing the same in that case.

 
RobAnt
192316.  Wed Jul 18, 2007 7:29 am Reply with quote

Turning an Ekranoplan must be a bit of a problem - at speed they would need to employ banking, but that could end up putting a wing in the water (or on the ground). The drag that would cause would probably be catastrophic.

For much smaller, commercial planes it might not be so much of a problem, as the relative height above ground, given the length, could be greater.

Ground effect works for all sized devices up to a limit. The size and speed. I am sure, would not increase the available ground effect distance.

I can only imagine that a large military device would need to slow, land, turn and take off again.

 
Frances
192709.  Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:34 am Reply with quote

The pics above are all on calm water. What happens in high waves? Does the plane bob up and down, or flatten the water below it, or cut right through the crests?

 
mckeonj
192734.  Thu Jul 19, 2007 10:02 am Reply with quote

Answering the two questions above: The E-plane rides on the 'ground effect', which is the same above water, the effective height of the effect is about 30 metres (70 to 120 feet). This puts it above most minor obstructions at ground/sea level, including trees, rocks, small houses, waves, sandbanks, etc. The E-plane does not generate a cushion of air as does the hovercraft, although it does generate a down thrust to rise initially, and relies on speed to skim over the natural air cushion.
It can also fly like a normal fixed wing aircraft, so when turning it rises into a banking turn at speed, so that the wing tips do not intersect the ground/water. This is quite impressive, and since the turn is accomplished at high speed, the craft is less vulnerable to incoming fire in military use. The military operating speed is about 300 knots, imagine a conventional navy ship trying to get a fix on an incoming gun platform travelling at 300 knots and firing all guns.

 
ficklefiend
192840.  Thu Jul 19, 2007 2:20 pm Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
AlmondFacialBar wrote:
shame, it would have been beautiful for series e, but now it's too late to still contribute topics


Don't despair ... 'F' is for 'flight'.


Definately, those things are too cool!

 
mckeonj
192849.  Thu Jul 19, 2007 2:47 pm Reply with quote

I suspect that soaring birds use the 'ground effect' to, er, great effect, especially over water.

 
mckeonj
193442.  Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:28 am Reply with quote

This is the 'Osprey', the US military tilt-rotor aircraft, not quite as weird as the Ekranoplan, but weird enough.

 

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