Lowdown on the Caspian Sea Monster

In the hopes of maybe spicing up the photo of the Chaiten volcano from last week, I did a quick Google image search for flying hammerhead shark. Truth to tell, I wasn’t holding out a lot of hope for actually *finding* such a beast, but Teh Google’s just full of surprises — you just never know what you’re going to get. And while I was mildly disappointed to find nary a single flying shark in all of Googledom, I was pleasantly surprised to find something almost equally cool: a secret cold war property of the pre-Hunt for Red October (i.e, Commie) Russians with the menacing moniker of The Caspian Sea Monster:

Image, and most of the following factoids, borrowed from vincelewis.net

With a design sensibility immediately recognizable as both Russian and 1970’s, the Russian Ekranoplan looks to be a result of the same sort of cockamammie Soviet ingenuity that enabled their people to write in outer space not with a specially designed million dollar pen, but with a graphite pencil. Part plane, part boat, part tank, Mr. Lewis reports that the Ekranoplane had a speed of 550 knots (that’s 633 miles per hour to landlubbers), a loaded weight of 540 tonnes (no word on how much of that’s payload, but for comparative purposes, a loaded 747 is in the 80ish tonne range), and presumably for decorative purposes alone, a bank of six missile launchers. Being an amphibious craft, it was capable of deep, shallow, or no water landings, though it required a more or less flat entryway.

Here’s a video:

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One Response to “Lowdown on the Caspian Sea Monster”

  1. Dongxidi Says:

    Eric

    Please ignore the comment i wrote under the two headed turtle.

    Eric, you are the MAN. These are great footages. Good job.
    I’m still trying to build one of those. Particularly building the 20tonne cargo carrier. Wanna go for broke?

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