The Ground Effect Vehicle, called “Ekranoplan” in Russian, carries massive payloads quickly and economically. The “Caspean Sea Monster”, which was designated the Ekranoplan KM, stands as the largest vehicle of this type ever designed and built. With a length of 100 meters and weighing in at 544 tons, he behemoth was powered by ten Dobrynin VD-7 turboject engines.
The strikingly unusual plane holds the record to this day fro lifting the heaviest load ever off the ground, even more than the largest cargo plane of the modern era, the An 225 “Mriya” can handle. Shrouded in mystery, the craft was secretly tested on the Caspian Sea from 1968 to 1980.
Following the success of the Sea Monster, the Russian ekranoplan program continued and led to the development of the 190 ton A-90 Orlyonok. As the most successful design in the class to date, the Orlyonok was in service in theSoviet Navy from 1979 to 1982. In 1987, Russia built the 400 ton “Lunclass” as a missle launcher, with its successor being renamed the Spasatel, which was intended to be a rescue vehicle, but it was never completed.