Ekranoplans or Ground Effect Vehicles (GEVs), are an aircraft-hovercraft-ship hybrid that glides at low altitudes above the land or sea, which are capable of swiftly moving equipment and personnel.

In 2015, plans for the A-050 Ekranoplan were allegedly underway at the Russian Federation, Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau (CHDB). A model of one of the A-050’s variants was displayed at the MAKS, Moscow International Aviation and Space Show. At the show, the CHDB boasted that the new Ekranoplan will be capable of take-off at a hefty weight of 54 tons and that the craft will also be able to add a maximum 9 tons to its mass while still managing take-off and flight. Those are some odd numbers, as the C5 Galaxy weighs 380,000 lbs, and can take flight after adding an additional 460,000 lbs.

Yet those whacky Tetris playing CHDB flight engineers in Russia are sticking to their story and claim that their Spruce Goose will achieve these odd-ball claims with R-195 booster engines, which have a lift capacity of 9,480 lbs. So they’ll only need to mount a minimum of thirteen engines onto their monstrosity to meet their promises. Albeit, the prototype model only displays eight engines. The FSB intelligence agent sales team . . . I mean the CHDB flight engineers behind the design also claim that their Ekranoplan will have a cruising speed of 250 to 300 miles per hour,  and a range of 3,000 miles. Even though the aircraft is short, five required engines to get off the ground.

Further, a second A-050 Ekranoplan variant, explicitly for military purposes is said to be underway. Plans are supposedly set to arm the GEV with cruise missiles, forward cannons, and machine guns. I’m sure some expert Tetris skills are required to work out how that thing is going to launch fricking cruise missiles and rock forward firing cannons.

There may also be a third variant underway, a unique stealth design that launches sharks with laser beams attached to their heads. 

The A-050 Ekranoplan. Image courtesy of MAKS.

The Caspian Sea Monster

The first GEV was, dubbed the Caspian Sea Monster by Western intelligence communities. But its initial Russian designation was «KM» Korabl Maket, [Корабль-макет] or Experimental Craft. The more affectionately known “Kaspian Monster,” dubbed by the CIA, who first spotted the craft via satellite imagery in 1965. Analysts noted a designation painted on its wingspan at that time, which read “KM,” and thus, the Kaspian Monster was given its first nickname.

MD-160, the sole Lun-class ekranoplan.

Moscow opted for another designation, the MD-160 Lun-class Ekranoplan. Lun [лунь] from the Russian word for harrier. NATO went with the codename, “Duck.”

The original Caspian Sea Monster crashed beyond repairs in 1980. Yet the MD-160 and it’s follow-on GEV variants were used periodically by the Soviet and later the Russian Navy until the late 1990s. Its tactical purpose was as a landing craft for amphibious assaults and maneuver disruption in the event of war in along Russian borders. These Ekranoplans could carry about 544 tons, at 311 mph, for 267 miles- so it was a pretty short ride. The modified variants of the Sea Monster were similar in technical capability and offered limited hover-flight, generating about fourteen feet of lift.

The aircraft-hovercraft-ship mutant, known as Ekranoplans is technically categorized as a Ground Effects Vehicle (GEV) designation. Yet it is classified as a maritime ship by the International Maritime Organization.

Holy Propaganda!

This is total bullshit – it does not exist. These images that have been making internet rounds are FSB Photoshopped propaganda.

The photos of a floating/flying Russian Aircraft Carrier are being recklessly passed around the internet like a bong at a Phish concert. They display some kind of monster F-14, Aircraft Carrier and are complete and total BS.

Take a real good look at the photos and you’ll see for yourself that they are clearly fakes. The propaganda behind this Kremlin fabricated tale came from one of their many mouthpieces, English Russia and has since been redistributed as internet doctrine.

Complete and total fantasy. Image courtesy of the FSB counter-intelligence and propaganda bureau.

OK, so it looks cool – but get real. Those six and in other photos four, forward mounted jet engines that are defying the laws of physics, as they are providing zero lift – fighting a wall behind the thrust generated. All the while they are turning the flight deck into a wind-tunnel. Nothing could ever be on that deck – unless you wanted it flung into the ocean . . . that could improve my golf game. Even so, how about those poorly placed missile launchers? Is this thing a children’s toy? Asides from the gasses killing everyone aboard, the backblast would blow the whole damned thing apart.

Additionally, the F-14 style swing-wing is completely erroneous. Anyway, where are they storing the aircraft and weapons? The ground effects to create the lift for this fantasy beast is in the underbelly – yes I see those stupid Photoshopped rear thrusters, which are also pointless. The water displacement and wake that should be created by this monstrosity are also not visible. Only the crisp straight lines of a contrail, that has been magically transferred from the sky and into water is displayed.

Chiefly, as a military vehicle, any near-miss by allied weapons would completely disrupt the turbine engines, and this thing isn’t built to float about the seven seas. What happens when battle-damage occurs or any of the all too famous Russian maintenance issues, which are certain to occur? – Come’on now.

That doesn’t mean that the GEV is an impossibility, as seen with the Caspian Sea Monster and its variants. Moscow also managed to churn out a cargo-passenger model via the Volga shipyards, called: “ORLYONOK.” In America, Boeing Phantom Works purposed the Pelican ULTRA (Ultra Large TRansport Aircraft) which claimed the ability to carry seventeen M-1 main battle tanks over land or sea. Although the project failed to get off the ground; in funding and was scrapped in 2002.

The S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier – Image courtesy of Marvel.

For now, Nick Fury can be easy on one of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarriers. The rest of us can take note of another Kremlin based fabrication and realize that they can’t even figure out how many engines it would take to make their new, acclaimed GEV to work. Let alone create believable propaganda graphics. Although, we can create a Helicarrier, and at most likely half the cost of the F-35. We’ll just need to retrofit a Nimitz class carrier with massive rotors, which offer a per rotor area of 6.5 x 105 m2 – at current rotor velocity capabilities. Clearly, we have some work to do, but at least our math checks out.

Featured Image – FSB counter-intelligence and propaganda bureau and Marvel