Sunday, September 28, 2008

Here comes (or there goes) the ekranoplan

A Soviet ekranoplan of the 1980s. The CIA called it the "Caspian Sea Monster." (Photo courtesy Wikipedia Commons.)

We need something to take our minds off Obama vs. Bush and the financial meltdown, and this morning I came across a BBC report on the ekranoplan, which should serve to divert your attention sufficiently.

Ekranoplan? Never heard of it, either.

Today's BBC Online reports via streaming video that a weird Russian flying/sailing machine operated across the Caspian Sea during the Cold War. It's neither a plane nor a boat, but a speedy streamlined vehicle that, somewhat like a hovercraft, flies in "ground effect" over water.

Another BBC streaming video describes an ekranoplan currently operating.

A third video takes viewers into the cockpit..

And no, none of the videos are captioned. Bummer.

Wikipedia, however, has an interesting article on the ekranoplan.

Now, back to reality.

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