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Old 05-17-2013, 11:14 AM   #1
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Imagine seeing this on your waters...

This Russian flying boat/plane was built and actually flew. Check out the story and several other pictures on that website.

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Old 05-17-2013, 01:07 PM   #2
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It was so fantastic , that no one built one again.
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Old 05-17-2013, 01:14 PM   #3
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This Russian flying boat/plane was built and actually flew. Check out the story and several other pictures on that website.
I remember reading about the Russian's huge ground effect planes but I had never seen one until you posted the link. Very cool in a bizzarre way. I would have loved to have seen and heard one fly. Thanks for posting this. I have friends in Boeing's engineering and flight test organizations who will love seeing this.
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Old 05-17-2013, 01:42 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by GFC View Post
This Russian flying boat/plane was built and actually flew. Check out the story and several other pictures on that website.

Me thinks this is Healhustler at work, again.
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Old 05-17-2013, 04:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marin View Post
I remember reading about the Russian's huge ground effect planes but I had never seen one until you posted the link. Very cool in a bizzarre way. I would have loved to have seen and heard one fly. Thanks for posting this. I have friends in Boeing's engineering and flight test organizations who will love seeing this.
Marin, IIRC there is at least one piece of somewhat grainy video of this thing skimming above the waves.
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Old 05-17-2013, 05:33 PM   #6
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The bulbous bow looks a little too high!

Any idea why only one of the 8 engines has a guard in front of the intake?
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Old 05-17-2013, 06:58 PM   #7
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... I have friends in Boeing's engineering and flight test organizations who will love seeing this.

This page says Boeing has already done research on such a project.

RUSSIAN EKRANOPLAN

Also has pics and links to videos of the monster actually "flying".
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:13 PM   #8
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It needs 8 engines just haul all that bird poop around. The guard is probably for the engine that pushes it around the dock.
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:17 PM   #9
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Looks like the output of someone desperate and under the threat of gulag/death to produce a super weapon.
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Old 05-17-2013, 07:46 PM   #10
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Here's one on google earth scroll up a little bit into that basin, and in the bottom left you'll see it.

https://maps.google.com/maps?ll=42.8...0556,47.665833
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Old 05-17-2013, 08:02 PM   #11
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When I was in the Navy we had 5 or 6 Martin P-5M flying boats. It was the largest twin engined aircraft in the world at the time. There was a very large radar antenna in that "bulbous bow". A flying boat had no landing gear. To get them ashore small boats took "beaching gear" out the aircraft and mechanically attached them. Then the P-5 was hauled up the ramp w a big tractor.

In the early 60s (when I was in the Navy) the P-5s were used exclusively for anti-submarine work. Very long range and duration.

It's amazing how similar the two aircraft look.
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Old 05-17-2013, 08:54 PM   #12
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When I was in the Navy we had 5 or 6 Martin P-5M flying boats. .
We also had them in GTMO in 1961.
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Old 05-17-2013, 10:03 PM   #13
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I can't imagine flying 1200 miles at 300 Kts at 16 ft maximum! I've got a few miles under my belt at low altitude (under 50 ft) and would never strap on one of these contraptions for a run. An intense amount of concentration is required to safely fly at low altitude. When flying at very low altitude over water, it's very difficult to maintain altitude with reference only to the surface or horizon. Traversing 1200 miles at 16 ft seems impossible to me without radio altimetery and extremely accurate autoflight systems.

Aside from the weapons carrying capability, a simple Beechcraft King Air 350 can carry 15 people 300 Kts for over 1200 miles at altitudes up to 35000 ft for what I'm sure is a whole lot less fuel. (It's a twin turboprop, not an 8 jet engine behemoth) Seems like a crazy scheme to gain government funding to me.

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Old 05-17-2013, 10:11 PM   #14
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The edit feature is already gone.

Here's another pic attempthttp://travelforaircraft.files.wordp..._8394-crop.jpg

OK this one works. It's small but all can see the tremendous similarity between the Russian craft and the Martin flying boat.
Our P-5 had 3350 cu in 18 cylinder engines. But the big bird didn't take off very smartly even w well over 6000hp.

Fly,
We did have radar altimeters and much training went to flying at low altitude. Actually low altitude (200') I think but doing very tight figure eights for long periods as close to the water as possible to make the MAD (magnetic anomaly detection gear) work well enough to track a submerged submarine for hours. If necessary and possible a relief aircraft would fly out and take over. We had many different kinds of depth charges including the worst kind.
Martin had a jet flying boat that was to replace the P-5M ... the P-6. It had jet engines (4) mounted on top of the wings nested two each side and close together like the Russian craft.
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Old 05-17-2013, 10:37 PM   #15
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From what I recall reading about the thing back when they were "operational" they were actually designed to touch the water at cruise speed with no consequences. Hence all those strakes or whatever on the sides and underside of the hull. So I don't' think the pilots had to fly right off the water and never touch it. I seem to recall reading descriptions of it sort of "skipping" along over the surface touching wave tops and so on.

The Soviets actually had some brilliant aeronautical designers and engineers. A number of their military planes and helicopters could outperform ours.

When they worked.

The big problem in the Soviet Union with regards to aircraft was not their designs but the execution of their designs. Their engines and manufacturing materials and processes and facilities were horrible compared to the west and Japan.

The idea of a huge ground-effect airplane is not unique to the Soviet Union. Boeing, and perhaps others, did some pretty extensive design studies of this technology. I've seen some of the Boeing design ideas in our archives. At the time the thought was not to make passenger or military airplanes but huge cargo airplanes, even oil tankers, that could skim the surface of the ocean and be faster and more efficient than surface transportation. The basic designs I saw were not totally unlike the Russian plane in this thread. As there was no military component to the designs they were way cleaner and simpler and undoubtedly would have been much, much lighter. I recall that one of the ideas was for a massive flying wing sort of thing with a monstrous payload.

Ground effect can really reduce the energy required to fly. Seabirds, of course, have been using it for eons. Ground effect is only really practical for man's purposes over water, hence Boeing's idea of a massive air cargo plane to carry freight and even bulk cargo like wheat across the Pacific and Atlantic.

I remember reading articles at the time the Soviets were developing their GE planes predicting that this type of aircraft would be the wave of the future carrying passengers and freight far more economically across oceans than "real" airplanes. Obviously the economics weren't there, let alone the logistics.

But I think it's pretty cool that the Soviets gave it a shot and made it work, at least in terms of the basic technology, aerodynamics, and hydrodynamics.
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:26 PM   #16
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It reminds me of Howard Hughes with the Spruce Goose. Another 8 engine airplane that would only fly in ground effect and only one was built. Another failed effort at practical flight.



Eric, I had quite a few friends and coworkers who flew missions on the P-3 on the same sub hunt missions. Pretty interesting missions during the height of the Cold War and one that often fascinated me. I have a lot of respect for those guys and really appreciate the effort required to maintain extended flights at 200 ft. But there's a HUGE difference between 200 ft and 16 ft.
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:31 PM   #17
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One of the Russian planes I liked was the bomber called "Bear".

Very big 6 engine (turbo/prop) w swept wings and HUGE props. They were 5 or 6 blade counter rotating tandem twin props (I think).

Since we still have the B-52 they may still have the Bear???

Fly,
16/200' agreed. Yes the P-3 came out right after I got out of the Navy. 1964

Marin,
I think it was almost instant death to touch a tip float to the water. Not sure about that though.
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:13 AM   #18
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Marin,
I think it was almost instant death to touch a tip float to the water. Not sure about that though.

Eric--- It depends on the design. On the typical flying boat like a Gumman Goose, Martin Mars, your P5M Marlin, it wasn't necessarily instant death but the tip float would rip off if it touched at speed and possibly cause structural damage to the wing if the pylon wasn't designed to break away as it was on planes like the Republic Seabee. That's why a popular modification to the Grumman Goose, Mallard, and perhaps the Widgeon, too, is retractable wing floats. Some versions of the PBY Catalina had these as well.

On the Russian ground effect plane you can see that the streamlined, hull-like tip float is incorporated into the end of the wing and is not suspended on a pylon. So in the same way the hull could skim waves, so could the end of the wing as long as they didn't bank to the point where the float buried itself in the water.

Of course I don't know this for sure as I've never met anyone even remotely associated with the Soviet plane but the appearance of the wing float design ceratainly suggests the designers knew it would touch the water occasionally at cruise speed.

I have some somewhere between three and four thousand hours in floatplanes but only a handful in a flying boat, a Grumman Super Widgeon owned by the late, famous Lana Kurtzer who was my seaplane rating instructor on Lake Union in 1981 or thereabouts (he'd established his flying service on the lake in 1928). I know that once the Widgeon was on the step it was a major no-no to let the floats touch the surface as the plane accellerated. I don't know that anything would have happened at that relatively low speed but Lana yelled at me every time he thought I was getting a wing float too close.
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:31 AM   #19
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I was in the USMC Airwing. At Cherry Point, NC, in about 1969, we lost our Squadron XO, flying an A4-F. We were doing low-level practice strafing runs over the Neuse River and he caught a wingtip in a swell at about 350 knots when he banked to pull up. It cartwheeled the aircraft into the water and demolished it into little pieces. It was a frightening thing to see.
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:48 AM   #20
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Wanna see one in "flight" using ground (water) effect?

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