• George

Soviet Era Ekranoplan Orlyonok

This is the old Revell 1/44 Ekranoplan Olgyonok (Eaglet). According to Wikipedia: A ground-effect vehicle (GEV) is a vehicle that is designed to attain sustained flight over a level surface (usually over the sea) by making use of ground effect, the aerodynamic interaction between the wings and the surface. Among the best known are the Soviet ekranoplans, but names like wing-in-ground-effect (WIG), flarecraft, sea skimmer, or wing-in-surface-effect ship (WISE) are also used.

The Soviet ekranoplan program continued with the support of Minister of Defence Dmitriy Ustinov. It produced the most successful ekranoplan so far, the 125-ton A-90 Orlyonok. These craft were originally developed as high-speed military transports and were usually based on the shores of the Caspian Sea and Black Sea. The Soviet Navy ordered 120 Orlyonok-class ekranoplans, but this figure was later reduced to fewer than 30 vessels, with planned deployment mainly in the Black Sea and Baltic Sea fleets. Only a few Orlyonoks served with the Soviet Navy from 1979 to 1992.

So there you have a brief history of this bizarre vehicle and this is why I like Soviet/Russian aircraft. They're just plain weird.

I plan on building this thing using a few references and extrapolating that information out to the future when my example will have suffered the ravages of time and Russian weather and neglect.


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