Long ago and far away lived a unique large fast mechanical monster of which you may have never heard. The Caspian Sea Monster was a huge 311 mph hover jet built by the Soviet Union. In 1967 the USA, using a satellite, discovered what looked like an aircraft, but oddly, the wings were too short. It had a Soviet Navy logo on it as well. Officially called the Ekranoplan, it was a huge vehicle developed in the Cold War from the 1960’s to the 1980’s. Part plane and part hover boat, it could fly just above the sea surface, floating on the cushion of air created above the sea surface by its wings and downward facing forward jets. It had the ability to carry huge loads of personnel or weapons at high speed below radar and was immune to anti-submarine nets and mines.
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The KM was the largest and heaviest aircraft in the world from 1966 to 1988, and its surprise discovery by the United States and the subsequent attempts to determine its purpose became a distinctive event of espionage during the Cold War.
Soviet leadership changed, however, and the Ekranoplan was not approved for continued development. The large test model eventually sank in the Caspian Sea when an inexperienced pilot failed to fly it with sufficient power.
It is still interesting today in 2019 to watch this beast in action. This is a monster that really flew.