September 28th, 2008



На БиБиСи интересная статья Riding the Caspian Sea Monster про российские экранопланы, большие и маленькие.

...In September 1966 an American spy satellite flew over a Soviet naval base on the Caspian Sea and took a series of photographs. This being the height of the Cold War, the results created quite a stir among the American intelligence community, because they showed an object, more than 100m long with inexplicably stubby, square wings, quite unlike anything they had seen before.

Their first guess was that this was a conventional aeroplane, possibly a seaplane, but one that was incomplete and much bigger than any aircraft the US had. But when the pictures were examined more closely, intelligence analysts calculated that, even if completed, it would actually fly really badly. This, coupled with the position of the engines, located well forward of the wing, made them realise what they were looking at was something entirely different. They had stumbled on one of the most top secret military projects of the Soviet era. The object was soon dubbed the Caspian Sea Monster.

В статье сказано что экранопланы "выросли" из развития кораблей на подводных крылья, которые "были изобретены в Советском Союзе".
The project owes much to the development of hydrofoils - fast boats that lift out of the water as they pick up speed. Today, hydrofoils are a staple of many ferry operators around the world, but it was the Soviets who had invented them.

Это не вполне верно, но именно в СССР "подводные крылья" развивались наиболее интенсивно, и фактически только там было массовое производство этих судов - знаменитых "Ракет" и "Метеоров", которые можно увидеть по всему миру.