Russians Invade with Flying Saucer

The Ekip, a pita-bread-shaped, stubby-winged, wheel-less, unmanned ship that weighs in at 500 pounds. For more than two decades, engineers at a former Soviet aerospace plant have been toiling on a drone aircraft that looks a whole lot like a prop from Plan 9 From Outer Space

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  1. Feòrag

    22 December 2003 at 11.32 am

    Ah, an ekranoplan. Much more information about this type of vehicle, which the Russians have been playing with for decades, can be found in Sergey Komissarov’s “Russia’s Ekranoplans” (Midland Publishing, 2002). While the text is a little dry, and the English somewhat unconventional, the photos and line drawings, as well as the sheer amount of information, make up for it.

  2. sbszine

    22 December 2003 at 2.22 pm

    My uncle (an ex-Navy man and maritime consultant) tells me that these things have been around for ages but have never been developed in the west on account of shipping safety laws. They’re basically extremely low flying planes, but in order to be considered safe & seaworthy they need lifeboat, an engineer, and a whole bunch of maritime spare parts and safety gear.
    After which they weigh too much to fly. : )

  3. Red Wolf

    22 December 2003 at 3.09 pm

    With the monstrously huge Ekranoplane, I’ve always wondered how many unwary sailors they scared the crap out of during test flights. There is a tiny cottage industry in the US making slightly larger than Cessna versions of ground effect aircraft for the private sector

Photos from Flickr