Top Secret Russian Military Aircraft From the Cold War Era
Ekranoplan is a Russian word it means 'screen craft' or 'skimmer'. It is not a plane nor is it a ship, moreover its a mixture of both.
Designed by Rostislav Evgenievich Alexeev and used by the Soviet and Russian navies from 1987 to sometime in the late 1990s.
The craft moves along on a dynamic cushion of air that is generated by its forward movement. It has similar characteristics of the common hovercraft in that it flies just above the surface as it moves. It will not however, hover while stationary but sit in the water.
These craft are big and fast and were kept secret from the west until the fall of communism in the early 1990's. It can quite easily be envisaged a hundred of such craft zooming across the ocean relatively undetected underneath radar to invade a country.
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