Soviet and Russian Ekranoplans, Hardback

Soviet and Russian Ekranoplans Hardback

5 out of 5 (1 rating)


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 272 pages, c550 colour and mono photographs and illustrations
  • Publisher: Crecy Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Aerospace & aviation technology
  • ISBN: 9781857803327



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This book is truly incredible! It is just flat out AWESOME!First: What is an Ekranoplan? It is a hoax! They had me going for a while, but only a short while. An Ekranoplan is the result of the imagination of a kid with a crayon and some construction paper. Granted the kid is quite an artist, but it is still just a fantasy. The Caspian Sea Monster belongs with Nellie, the Loch Ness sea monster. But, I'll play along. I review this book as if it is a non-fiction reference work.Second: There are some inherent difficulties.-- It is very difficult to translate technical data from one language to another. The authors are aware of this and address it quite effectively in their introduction. Therefore, I won't waste any more space on that problem.-- Also, what are these things to be called? In my opinion, they are not boats or ships. They are not aircraft or airplanes. They are best referred to as machines, which the book at time does.Third:-- From the introduction: 'This book is a revised and expanded edition of a similar publication which made its appearance in 2002. The purpose of this book is to show Russia's role and achievements in the development of ekranoplans, or wing-in-ground-effect (WIG) craft - a new means of transportation which remains a fairly exotic domain to this day.' I believe that the prior publication referred to is "Russia's Ekranoplans: The Caspian Sea Monster and other WIGE Craft", by Sergey Kommissarov, and part of the Red Star series by Midland Publishing (who also published this book).-- As to the contents, also from the introduction: 'Four separate chapters are devoted to historically the most prominent Soviet design bureaux in this field, while the following two chapters deal with designs emanating from enthusiasts, scientific institutions and the present-day Russian design bureaux and commercial companies. However, the range of types covered here is by no means exhaustive. Finally, a special chapter is devoted to a brief review of the trends and achievements in WIG design in countries outside Russia, to give the reader a background against which the Russian achievements should be judged.'-- I could not have said it better.Chapter 1 is 'Alekseyev, the Pioneer: Standard-Setting Designs'. This is the major part of the book and covers the Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau (CHDB).Chapter 2 is 'Bartini Bold Ideas - Italian-Born Designer's Projects'. He did a lot of work with dynamic air cushion vehicles, only one of which made it to hardware.Chapter 3 is 'Beriyev's Activities: Seaplane Versus Ekranoplan'. Much of his work was with flying boats.Chapter 4 is 'Sukoi: Attempt at Diversification - WIG Vehicles on the Agenda'. This design bureau cooperated with CHDB.Chapter 5 is 'Enthusiasts Make Their Contribution'.Chapter 6 is 'Free Enterprise: Enter New Companies'.Chapter 7 is 'Ekranoplans Outside Russia'.There is no Glossary, Bibliography nor Index.Pros:The use of color is tremendous. Some drawings are so much more understandable because of the effective use of color. The same can be said of some of the photographs.The extensive drawings.The extensive photographs.The specifications for each design.Cons:The lack of a glossary.The lack of an Index.