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Maritime Image of the Day: The Lun Ekranoplan

PortandTerminal.com, November 11, 2020

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA – Today’s Maritime Image of the Day is a photo of the remains of an old Soviet military craft called “The Ekranoplan”. The image was taken by Lana Sator (@LanaSator) in July 2020 and shows an example of the craft that is currently beached in the Caspian Sea and taking on water. 

The ekranoplan was designed by the Soviets in the 1960s and used by the Soviet and Russian navies from 1987 until sometime in the late 1990s. It is called a “Ground Effect Vehicle” and flew using the lift generated by the ground effect of its large wings when within about 20 ft or so above the surface of the water.

Although they might look similar to regular aircraft, and have related technical characteristics, ekranoplans are not aircraft, seaplanes, hovercraft, nor hydrofoils. The IMO classifies them as maritime ships. When it was first conceived, its designer hoped that the Ekranoplan would one day replace conventional cargo ships and ferries.

Drawing of a Soviet Lun Ekranoplan
Image Credit: Hi Sutton

The craft in today’s image is of a Lun Ekranoplan – a military version of the craft that was designed to be an aircraft carrier killer. Measuring 284 tons and 243 feet long, the craft was fitted with 6 mosquito rocket launchers along its back. They were designed to engage enemy ships from a distance of over 50 miles away. Political changes in Soviet Russia, the difficulty of flying the craft and accidents during testing lead to the project ultimately being abandoned.

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Увидеть экраноплан "Лунь" изнутри – это было целью моего спонтанного возвращения в Дагестан. Редко рассказываю истории возникновения идей прогулок, подготовки и процесса, – но, может быть, именно такого контента здесь не хватает? Впрочем, инстаграм не так хорош для лонгридов, текст разбит на части и помещён в комментарии. Продублирую на английском, как обычно. Фотки снаружи, если кто не видел, – во вчерашнем посте. Seeing "Lun" ekranoplane from the inside was the main purpose of my spontaneous return to Dagestan. I rarely tell stories of ideas for walks, preparation and exploration process – but maybe this is the kind of content that is missing here? However, instagram isn't so good for longread, – the text is broken down into parts and placed in comments. 🇬🇧 English text in comments below.

A post shared by Lana Sator (@lanasator) on

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