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When Fantasy Meets Reality: Russia Develops Heavy 'Flying Ship'

© Photo : CDB on hydrofoils of R. E. AlekseevProject of a sea basic ekranoplan A-050-742d
Project of a sea basic ekranoplan A-050-742d - Sputnik International
In a new take on a once-shelved project, Russian engineers are working on the prototype of a heavy ground effect “flying ship” or ekranoplan, which the Soviet Union started developing in the late 1960s.

“Work on the A-050 ekranoplan with a takeoff weight of 50 tons is now ongoing at the Akekseyev Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau,” the CHDB’s chief designer Georgy Antsev said.

“We are now ready to start building the prototype and we are in talks with several potential buyers, including foreign,” he added.

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Featuring all-Russian avionics and navigation gear, the A-050 is an ideal option for the Federal Border Service, the Emergency Situations Ministry and the Coast Guard, Antsev said.

The A-050’s designed maximum takeoff weight is 54 tons and its load carrying capacity – nine tons, or 100 passengers. Cruising speed is 350-450 km/h.

The A-050 will be powered by R-195 booster engines (like on the Su-25 ground attack plane), TV-117SM main engines (like on the Il-114 aircraft). The effective range is 5,000 km.

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