Talk:Ground effect vehicle

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Why no hyphen?[edit]

Isn't ground effect an adjective in the phrase, "ground-effect vehicle"? Autodidact1 (talk) 04:30, 17 January 2017 (UTC)

Why no mention of rogue waves?[edit]

Isn't it the fact that rogue waves occur much more frequently than previously believed that is the major problem with ekranoplans? (talk) 20:13, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

There are no rogue waves on Russian rivers, or the Black Sea, or even the Barents Sea Santamoly (talk) 07:07, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
Maybe not on Rivers, but all large open bodies of water have rogue waves - Caspian, Black Sea and Barents sea included.NiD.29 (talk) 10:21, 23 October 2012 (UTC)


I've removed the following paragraph from the article for the moment because I don't see the justification for it.

The term ground effect vehicle is often misapplied to hovercrafts, which use fans to form an air cushion (hence the correct term air cushion vehicle) rather than relying on true ground effect.

Firstly, the article is about ekranoplans, so it seems a bit out of place. Secondly, I disagree with the paragraph's claims, the hovercraft's air cushion is very much a ground effect, otherwise a hovercraft would be able to rise to an unlimited height. Both ekranoplans and hovercraft rely on an aircushion (a volume of pressurised air) to support them. The main difference is that the ekranoplan uses the ram effect of its forward speed to produce the cushion below its wings whereas the hovercraft uses fans to produce the cushion below its body. The difference is analagous to the difference between the aeroplane, which uses forward speed to produce lift, and the helicopter, which uses what is, in many ways, a large fan to produce lift. As a result the advantages and disadvantages of the two types of aircushion vehicle are analogous to those of the two types of aircraft as well. -- Derek Ross

I disagree - hovercraft do not use ground effect. "Ground Effect" is a specific term referring to an aerodynamic phenomenon resulting from an aerofoil operating close to the ground (as a rule of thumb, within one wing-span of the ground). A wing works by creating a region of high pressure below it and low pressure above it (the exact reason for this is complex, and is often simplistically explained as a result of Bernoulli's principle, although that is only a small part of the story. Anyway, it is largely irrelevant to this discussion). Because of the pressure difference, there is a tendency for the air below the wing to move to above it. It can't do it by going over the leading or trailing edge, but it can do it around the wing tip. Thus, what is known as 'spanwise flow' occurs, where air under the wing moves out towards the tip, while air above it moves in towards the root. At the wing tip, this creates vortices (these vortices can be very powerful - a heavy airliner's wing tip vortices pose a major hazard to smaller aircraft). Unfortunately, these vortices cause drag (known as induced drag) This is why winglets are fitted to some aircraft, to reduce the vortices. Another thing to consider is that behind a wing, there is a downwash - this is again a natural part of the aerodynamics of a wing - as the air passes over the wing, it is deflected downwards (this is a result of the Coanda effect, and is a major factor in the production of lift). However, this downwash also results in induced drag. As an aircraft speeds up, induced drag actually reduces. However, the other form of drag, known as parasite drag, increases.
Anyway, lets get back to the topic of ground effect. When an aircraft is close to the ground, the vortices can't form fully while the downwash is also reduced, leading to a reduction in induced drag. Because the parasite drag is small at low speeds, an aircraft flying in ground effect experiences a lot less drag than it would flying out of ground effect. This means it can fly without using as much power, which is the major advantage of a WIG/GEV/Ekranoplan etc.
This is the major factor behind Ground Effect. While there is also a cushioning, it is the significant reduction in drag close to the ground which is the major issue here. It is very different to the concept of the hovercraft. You are quite right to say the difference between the two is analogous to that between Aeroplanes and Helicopters - there is a major difference between Ground Effect Vehicles and Hovercraft, and it is a mistake to confuse them. Nick Moss 12:46, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

American intelligence "confused"?[edit]

I tend to doubt that American intelligence was bewildered by this if they got pictures of it. Ground effects flight is pretty well understood. What is the source of this info?

I recall a documentary saying that US intelligence analysts were initially puzzled by the satellite photos which appeared to show an enormous, unfinished aeroplane. They consulted technical experts, who conjectured the 'Caspian sea monster' was a ground effect vehicle. I'll remove the 'confused' bit until someone can supply better information. --Townmouse 00:40, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

Though I can't vouch for what was going through the mind of an Intel Anallyst when he/she first saw pictures of the "Caspian sea monster", there were many other WIG aircraft that the Soviets had tested prior to building that vehicle. Also, there was an on-going WIG and PAR WIG technology development effort as early as the mid 1970's. See: Gallington, R. W. and H. R. Chaplin, “Theory of Power Auggmented Ram Lift at Zero Forward Speed,” Report no. DTNSRDC ASED 365 (Feb 1976)

Rousseau, D. G. and R. W. Gallington, "Performance Prediction Method for a Wing-In-Ground Effect Vehicle with Blowing Under the Wing," Report no. DTNSRDC ASED 379 (March 1977)

Rousseau, D. G., “Analysis of Empirically Determined Ram and Aero Coefficients for a Power-Augmented-Ram Wing-In-Ground Effect,” Report no. DTNSRDC ASED 396 (Oct 1977) NavyDave (talk) 23:51, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

I haven't got time to look up sources right now, but I believe that this is referencing the first pictures that American Intelligence saw of the pictures, where some merely thought that it was an unfinished aircraft. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:43, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Compared to hovercraft and aircraft?[edit]

I'd like to know more about its advantages and disadvantages to hovercraft, flying boats and ground-based transport aircraft, especially fuel consumption per kilometre, cost of production and cross country performance/seaworthiness.

The number of possible military applications of this vehicle must be somewhat limited - did the Soviets create it to fill a specific role, say delivering a large invasion force by surprise, or was it more general-purpose?-- 12:52, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Military uses limited? You ask the some logistics people what they think of 400km/h 1000 ton lift craft that can run all the way from supply ships to the forward supply dump without requiring dock facilities. -- 19:22, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree. A force of these could potentially slip under the radar and deliver a fully armed and equipped force of Soviet T-80s to the East Coast of the United States. Their lift capacity is unrivaled.--TelevisedRevolution 23:59, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
I'm guessing they require very flat water, and may not be suitable for use in many other places than inland seas and salt flats. Michael Z. 2006-10-23 02:14 Z
Water conditions are proportional to size. Larger wingspan craft can fly further above MSL and so will cope with larger waves. The Caspian Sea Monster maintained true ground effect up to ~10m above sea surface, and could hop ("dynamic leap") over 50m. You wouldn't want to go into the teeth of a Force 10, but then I'm guessing that if you ask most ship's masters they wouldn't either! Flicktokick 09:57, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
Quote from the Foreign Military Studies Office Publications paper below: "WIG technology has particular appeal to military logisticians. WIG craft can move heavy loads rapidly across the ocean and land—on an undeveloped beach or further inland—and can fly around bad weather. Since it is flying 3 to 90 feet above the ocean surface, it is hard to detect using radar, infrared or satellite. It can presently fly in excess of 400 miles per hour and carry over 500 short tons.17 WIG craft can fly over water, sand, snow or prairie. It can also fly up to an altitude of 3,000 meters, but then it loses its fuel-saving advantages. Russian analysts consider WIG technology so developed that the United States could build a 5,000 ton, ocean-skimming WIG craft with a 1,500-ton capacity, 20,000 kilometer (12,420-mile) range, and a 400 kilometer-per-hour (250 mile-per-hour) speed. Such a craft could deliver 1,200 tons of military equipment and cargo plus 2,000 soldiers.18" -- (talk) 13:15, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
These machines weren't designed to invade America. They were designed to operate on the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea, to defend against possible eruptions from Iran and Turkey (think Chechnya). Hence the name, "Caspian Sea Monster". Santamoly (talk) 07:16, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
Whether or not they were designed for that is irrelevant, and is idle speculation since unless you were a participant in the meetings that led to its being built (or have references from people who were), you cannot say for sure what transpired, and what their long term goals were, nor the fact that once something like this is built, any military will find other uses for it. Its name in this case is meaningless. That said, supposed Russian goals regarding invading the US are largely US paranoia and propaganda anyway, primarily used to support bloated defence budgets. The statement about Russian analysts... repeats a real US proposal that would replace the use of sealift ships and supplement C-5 cargo aircraft for overseas operations for American invasions of other countries.NiD.29 (talk) 10:21, 23 October 2012 (UTC)

More information on Ekranoplan?[edit]

Over the past few days, I have developed quite a big interest in the Ground Effect Vehicles. As a result, I have done a frightening amount of reading into them. Unfortunately, when it comes to editing the Ekranoplan pages in wikipedia, I don't really have the confidence to put my money where my mouth is, even if my sources are good. So, these are the sources I've found, which I'm confident could be used to good effect.

Scary documents:
Foreign Military Studies Office - The Tyranny of Time and Distance: Bridging the Pacific.

While this site is in Russian, and probably doesn't qualify as a notable source, it seems to have some pretty in-depth information about the Espa-Y class of Ekranoplan.

This USAF study may be relevant in some way, but the complexity of it causes my brain to palpitate.

Other links
This site contains a diagram of the development of the various Ekranoplan classes.
It's in French, but its sourced as from "Science & Vie" (Science and Life) which is a French science magazine. One problem is that it labels the first Ekranoplan as Utka, and the anti-ship Ekranoplan as "Lun Militaire", whereas the FMSO article (and another chart I have yet to find a reference for) describe it as Utka.

AlphaSim have created an Ekranoplan for use in Microsoft Fight Simulator 2002 & 2004

I currently have emails out to some people, who might be able to give me more reliable references, but I'm not holding my breath on it.
Kirai no Tenshi 14:55, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

I found this video on You Tube!, but unfortunately the voice-over is in Russian. Senji 19:46, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

Just another resource for the pot. Google's translation functions do a reasonable job if you don't read Russian. Flicktokick 10:00, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Veracity of Bentley Yachts[edit]

I am hoping that somebody can further verify this source. I can't find anything about the company or its founder on Google other than its own pages. Most of the boats they have for sale are CGI renderings, and their ekranoplan pages simply have photos sourced from elsewhere and obscure the vehicles' Soviet military origins. I remember reading an article a few years ago which said that the design bureau in charge of the Lun model was looking for a private buyer for the one that had been mothballed, but I haven't been able to find that article again; otherwise I would replace the Bentley link. Until then, I'm hoping somebody can get some more information on this company and their ties to the Soviet ekranoplans, if they're for real.

oops, forgot to sign istewart 10:12, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

"Two types (Lun and Orlyonok) appear (October 2006) to be available commercially, as private 'superyachts':"

I think I'm going to remove that line - that site is almost certainly a joke site! -- 23:18, 31 October 2006 (UTC)


Shouldn't there be a picture of an ekranoplan so anyone reading the page could identify what one looks like? 07:15, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

"Commemorating the 85th anniversary of Rostislav Evgenievich Alexeev" doesn't work. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:54, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

suggestions, observations[edit]

this article states the Lun-class ekranoplan has a maximum velocity of 550 knots, more than 1000km/h. however, the wikipedia page of lun-class mentions 297 knots, 550km/h. could some expert clear it up?

useful links, etc[edit]

Where in Metal Gear Solid 3?[edit]

Just wondering. Can't remember seeing it. -albrozdude (talk) 03:32, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Ekranoplan in Flight Simulator X[edit]

The Ekranoplan was featured in the mission "tokyo Executive transport" in the game Flight Simulator X

--Hornet94 talk 08:10, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

KM take-off[edit]

Two main solutions to this problem have been implemented. The first was used by the Russian Ekranoplan program which placed engines in front of the wings to provide more lift. The Caspian Sea Monster had eight such engines, some of which were not used once the craft was airborne. A second, more elegant approach, is to use some form of an air-cushion to raise the vehicle most of the way out of the water, making take-off easier.

In fact, KM used the second type of take-off. Rear side of it's wing was in water during take-off, so wing was air trap for engine's air waves. This solution was futher developed on Orlenok vehicles. Ходок (talk) 12:59, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Article structure messed up[edit]

First: the current development section is a mess. I don't know what the guy who made it was thinking about. The beggining looks fine, but then someone inserted levels sorted by country, and after that someone esle inserted more levels.

Second: the wing configurations section has more problems. Someone put an Ekranoplan text at the bottom of the section wich doesn't have anything to do with wing configurations, it explains what an ekranoplan is. —Preceding unsigned comment added by ElPeski (talkcontribs) 09:09, 2 May 2009 (UTC)

Science Fiction Novel[edit] (talk) 00:32, 27 June 2009 (UTC)At 73 years of age I am writing my first science fiction novel; although I have written many other items over the years. I would like to offer GEV as a major form of transport in a ruined world, in the early 22nd century.

My question is, does anyone think it is feasible to have this type of vehicle operating on land as well as water and in your wildest would they work on normal or specially modifies roads.

One important trip the vessel would have to make regualrly is from the Western European Federation governament in Cologne; down the Rhine across the North Sea and up the Tyne River to the burgeoning City of Gateshead passing the ruined Newwcastle on Tyne along the way.

Is this journey feasible in most weather conditions?

If it is feasible to travel on land as well would a more direct course be better route.

Rgds Ian J Brown Kawana Island

This talk page is solely for the discussion of matters directly related to the article itself and its improvement. As such, your questions are beyond the scope of this talk page. However, I find the question fascinating, and so I'll copy your question over to the talk page of your IP address, and respond there. - BillCJ (talk) 04:16, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

In Fiction[edit]

Any thoughts on whether it would be appropriate to add a section on ground effect vehicles in fiction/science fiction? The Australian children's author Ivan Southall described ground effect vehicles in his 'Simon Black' series, based on his experiences flying Short Sunderland flying boats close to the ocean during the second world war, for example (and also described the experience of utilizing ground effect in his non-fiction work on flying Short Sunderlands during the war in the Mediterranean). Caitifty (talk) 22:41, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

If he describes actual GEVs (and not just aircraft flying low), and they are a major recurring part of the story I'd say go for it.NiD.29 (talk) 18:44, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

The ekranoplane in soviet russia seems like an unconventional craft for delusional americans, probably say that thing can't fly, or that plane is half-built type of joke, but i can see it as a 747 on the water for tourists. Its too bad their was no s-class sized ekranoplane ever built in the west. It would be a profitable luxury cruise to say japan or russia via the pacific, safer and faster! On top of that, everyone doesnt die if you do crash! actually no one would die, no mid-air collisions...nothing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Asfd666 (talkcontribs) 18:51, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

I didn't get this implication - they were fast attack ships similar to hydrofoils and jet boats without the limitations, but don't require flight. The small luxury cruiser market can't support development on its own and is dependent on large scale use as military vessels or as freighters. Politics killed them but they will reappear.
They can move at 300+mph which is fast enough to kill even if it comes down in the water and they won't be built any heavier than needed. If enough get built, mid-air collisions will happen, as will collisions with ships and buildings.NiD.29 (talk) 18:44, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Wing in ground Kiwi![edit]

This is interesting.--TraceyR (talk) 10:07, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Top speed of Soviet model ambiguous[edit]

From the article:

reaching a top speed of 300 kn (560 km/h; 350 mph) (400 kn (740 km/h; 460 mph) in research flight).

So... 300 or 400 kn? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:12, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

Sea Eagle?[edit]

Near the end of the article, under History > GEVs since the 1980s, there is an image captioned "Sea Eagle", but there is no other info with the image and no mention of this craft in the text. Who built it? When? For what purpose? More info, please! (talk) 08:47, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

I've been bold and removed it for the moment, pending explanation ~dom Kaos~ (talk) 13:42, 12 February 2016 (UTC)