Military Review

Flying ship SM-1: the history of the first Soviet ekranoplan

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Flying ship SM-1: the history of the first Soviet ekranoplan


22 July 1961, the designer Rostislav Alekseev went to fly on his first child, flying due to the screen effect

Since mankind began to create and improve vehicles, one of the main objectives of this process has become the increasing speed of movement. But, alas, only airplanes were able to make real speeds - with the ships, such a focus almost does not work. Almost - because in post-war Russia they were able to create ships that had developed the speed of 400 – 500 km / h! We are talking about ekranoplans - a kind of hybrids of an airplane and a gliding ship, which have been developed for a long time by the talented designer Rostislav Alekseev. His first car of this kind - the SM-1 ekranoplan, that is, the “Self-propelled model, the first one” - set off on its first flight 22 July 1961 of the year. And the creator himself controlled the unit, completely confident in the safety and capabilities of its offspring.

For the first time, the effect of an aerodynamic screen, or a screen effect, that is, a sharp increase in wing lift and other aerodynamic characteristics of an aircraft when flying near a screening surface (water, earth, etc.), became known at the beginning of 1920's. The first to encounter such a phenomenon were pilots, especially those who flew aircraft with rather wide and short wings. They noticed that when taking off or landing, a plane flying at low speed suddenly starts to behave strangely - as if a huge pillow appeared under it. At first, meetings with the screen effect even led to disasters, while aerodynamic scientists failed to investigate and explain the phenomenon and suggest ways to deal with it.

Yes, the planes had to deal with the screen effect, but who said that it was completely useless? Practically at the same time when the aerodynamic screen was described, there were also scientists who tried, at least theoretically, to apply a new phenomenon. And among the first among them were Soviet engineers. Thus, in 1922, an article by aerodynamic scientist Boris Yuriev (in the future, a full member of the USSR Academy of Sciences and a lieutenant general of engineering and technical services), "The influence of the earth on the aerodynamic properties of a wing," was published. It was she who gave a theoretical justification for the use of the screen effect to create aircraft of special design. A decade later, the first attempt at practical application of this theory was made by the famous Soviet inventor Pavel Grokhovsky. “I got the idea to use an“ air cushion ”, that is, compressed air formed under the wings from the flight speed, the well-known designer wrote at the beginning of 1930’s. - Amphibious ship can fly-glide not only above the ground, above the sea and the river. The amphibious ship allows to transport cargo and people all year round at speeds of 200 – 300 km / h, in summer on floats, in winter on skis. ”

But the level of development of the pre-war technology and the need for new types of transport were low, and therefore, at that time, WIG did not receive development - it was limited to several large-scale models and experimental machines. The prototypes created by Pavel Grokhovsky and Finn Toomas Kaario, proved the very possibility of movement due to the screen effect, but did not even pull into pre-production copies. And because the flowering ekranoplanostroeniya began only two decades after the end of the Second World War. By this time, new heat-resistant and moisture-resistant materials for planes and plating of such devices appeared, and jet and turboprop engines capable of accelerating them to speeds at which the aerodynamic screen became truly effective.

In the Soviet Union, two design bureaus were engaged in work on ekranoplans, but only one managed to bring their designs to mass production. Taganrog OKB, in which the aircraft designer Robert Bartini worked - one of the most extravagant and unrelated conventions of the creators of Soviet aircraft, embodied only one model of its leader in the metal: BBA-14, that is, a vertically taking off amphibian. Since the vertical take-off engines could not be further developed and installed on this amazing aircraft, two cruise engines were installed in their place to create a screen effect - and thus they turned the aircraft into a vertical take-off and landing into an WIG. But the scale of the finishing work was so great that after the death of the designer, the work on BBA-14М1П (such an index received an ekranoplane) was discontinued.

The creators of ekranoplans from Gorky Central Design Bureau for hydrofoil vessels (CDB SEC) under the leadership of Rostislav Alekseev achieved much greater success. In this design bureau in the post-war years, sea and river hydrofoil vessels were created, many of which are unmatched to this day. The famous "Rockets" and "Meteors", "Comets" and "Burevestniki" - all this is the development of the CDB SEC. And it was they who ultimately led to the appearance of the first EKN design of Rostislav Alekseev.

The point was that, while improving hydrofoil vessels, the designer quickly realized that no matter how fast they were, reaching speeds inaccessible to ordinary ships, they still could not move faster than 100 – 120 km / h. The culprit is cavitation effect, boiling water in a rarefied zone, which increases with increasing speed and dramatically reduces the effectiveness of the hydrofoil. It was then that Alekseev came up with the idea to eliminate the main source of problems - the contact of the vessel with water. For the shipbuilder, such an idea looks at least revolutionary, if not to say a little insidious. But Rostislav Alekseev was not embarrassed: having studied all the available materials on the screen effect and the pre-war attempts to create an ekranoplan, he set about designing his own machines of this type.

Short this way only looks, but in fact the designer took almost ten years before he managed to start building his first ekranoplan. As always, the process spurred the interest of the military, who appreciated the unprecedented speed capabilities and theoretical loading capacity of such vessels. But in order to confirm the theoretical position and prove the right of ekranoplans to exist, an impressive demonstration was required. It was for her and was built by an SM-1 ekranoplan, which set off on its first flight 22 July 1961. After making sure that the theory is correct, and the built machine confidently moves over the water surface, listens to the steering wheel and behaves adequately, Alekseev began to demonstrate it to potential customers. The most important were the flights, which were monitored by the secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, the future Minister of Defense Dmitry Ustinov and the commander-in-chief of the Navy Sergey Gorshkov. They were so impressed by what they had seen that they asked the designer for the right to fly independently on the CM-1 - and received from it, as eyewitnesses recalled, inexpressible pleasure! Unhappy with the flight was only the chairman of the State Committee for Civil Engineering, Boris Butome, who was in an unpleasant situation with suddenly ending fuel in the middle of the flight. Forced to wait until the ekranoplan was refueled, the engines were started and led to the shore, the head of the shipbuilding industry, as they say, delivered its irritated verdict: they say, “it doesn’t fly above the telegraph pole”.

However, this was no longer important: Dmitry Ustinov, who had tremendous political weight and disposed naval orders Sergey Gorshkov appreciated the capabilities of a new type of machine. And since 1962, after the second SM-2 ekranoplan, which received classic nasal blowing engines that helped to blow air under the wing, showed the head of the USSR Nikita Khrushchev and received his approval, the development of serial models in the interests of the army and navy began. TsKB SPK immediately worked on three projects: airborne assault, strike and anti-submarine ekranoplanes. At the same time, the design bureau worked on various options for assembling new type of vessels, sequentially creating several more “self-propelled models” - from SM-3 to SM-8.

As is usually the case with equipment created on the basis of a new principle of movement, the development of ekranoplanes took a very long time, during which the interest of the military and the financial capabilities of the country gradually came to naught. As a result, only one model of an ekranoplane went into the series - the landing party, which received the MDE index (small landing craft-ekranoplan) and the A-90 code "Eaglet". True, only five of them were built, of which only three were adopted by the Soviet Navy and became part of the 11th separate air group of the General Staff of the Marine aviation. These ekranoplanes could carry 200 marines or two units of armored vehicles (for example, floating Tanks PT-76 or armored personnel carriers BTR-60) at a distance of up to 1500 km at a speed of up to 350 km / h!

Among other famous developments of Rostislav Alekseev are the colossal (almost 95 meters in length!) Ten-engine winged KM-1, whose name Western intelligence has decoded as “The Caspian Monster”. Although in reality the abbreviation meant only “ship-mock-up”: it was an experienced ship, on the basis of which it was planned to build a serial combat wig for the Navy, capable of performing the functions of a strike ship. A little less of it was the Lun, an ekranoplan-rocket carrier, built in a single copy, which received the unofficial title of “carrier-killer”. Armed with six Mosquito anti-ship missiles, he was able to release them on the go - at speeds up to 500 km / h. At the same time, Lun, moving at a height of several meters above the sea, was practically elusive for enemy locators and posed a serious threat to the aircraft carrier groups, for which it was created to combat. But only one such ship entered the 1990 year, and that immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union suddenly turned out to be useless to anyone and is living its last century at the once top-secret base in Kaspiysk.
Author:
Originator:
http://rusplt.ru/wins/pervyiy-sovetskiy-ekranoplan-27628.html
40 comments
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  1. avg-mgn
    avg-mgn 24 July 2016 07: 11
    +4
    This topic has been discussed more than once, it is not entirely clear why a promising and interesting direction has not yet been implemented either in the interests of the Navy or the citizen. I read a lot on the topic, there seem to be no pitfalls, but we are not building. About "Sterkh" they were silent, and the states built their "Pelican".
    1. demiurg
      demiurg 24 July 2016 07: 20
      +3
      You yourself have shown the answer in the photograph. Look at the storm with good music, whether the ekranoplane will be able to complete the task on such an excitement. From 2.51 to watch))

      1. Simpsonian
        Simpsonian 24 July 2016 07: 41
        0
        It depends on the size of the storm and the size of the ekranoplan.

        Bartini did everything in his VVA-14, there was no gap with him ...
        1. tlauicol
          tlauicol 24 July 2016 13: 04
          +3
          Bartini did not do anything with VVA-14. a little more than nothing

          Well, and what size should an ep be for landing in a storm?
          1. Simpsonian
            Simpsonian 24 July 2016 22: 38
            +1
            Is the video of VVA flights on YouTube "little more than nothing"?
            and some ghouls still give you advantages ...

            Corresponding to the height of the waves, the VVA was just a large-scale copy of the VTOL-2500, having started to make which he "slipped in the bathroom."
            1. tlauicol
              tlauicol 26 July 2016 12: 20
              0
              The result of many years of work on the VVA-14 is a very poor aircraft that never took off from the water, never took off vertically and did not land (for which it was actually conceived - even the name of the pepelats screams about it). He took off only on an airplane WITHOUT 14 vertical take-off engines, WITHOUT fuel and equipment for them, WITHOUT a payload in general! What did Bartini build on millions of people? Here he sawed it so sawed up - when the Motherland entrusted you to build a combat ekranolet or at least VTOL aircraft, and you built a cowshed taking off without a cow
              1. Papandopulo
                Papandopulo 26 July 2016 13: 39
                0
                VVA-14 is a large-scale copy of the WIG SVVP-2500

                and all you have to do is to sow the Soviet VTOL and EP for many years in a row
                1. tlauicol
                  tlauicol 26 July 2016 14: 11
                  -1
                  large-scale copy of WHAT? images ? layout? fiction? chimeras? another cut project? still there had to swell money?
                  you just have to operate fantastic projects and pass them off as accomplishments
                  1. Papandopulo
                    Papandopulo 27 July 2016 06: 55
                    0
                    A flying, large-scale copy of the ekranoplane with a carrying capacity of 2500 tons, the models of which were previously tested in the TsAGI wind tunnels and tested in hydrodynamic pools.

                    For you, %% according to Zadoronov and Lavrov - yes, they are fantastic ...

                    In the USSR there were no cut projects; in the USSR they sent people like you to cut to Kolyma.
              2. Papandopulo
                Papandopulo 26 July 2016 13: 39
                0
                VVA-14 is a large-scale copy of the WIG SVVP-2500

                and all you have to do is to sow the Soviet VTOL and EP for many years in a row
      2. The comment was deleted.
      3. Mik13
        Mik13 24 July 2016 08: 37
        +6
        Quote: demiurg
        Look at the storm with good music, whether the ekranoplane will be able to complete the task on such an excitement. With 2.51 watch))

        Carriers in such weather are also useless. And nevertheless, they are being built.
      4. The comment was deleted.
      5. You Vlad
        You Vlad 24 July 2016 14: 02
        0
        But is this ship moving where it needs to be? Or is it trying ...
      6. jungler
        jungler 24 July 2016 20: 12
        0
        Hm ... dear Lieutenant General! Enemies misinformed you. On this clip, music REQUIRE FOR A DREAM composer our contemporary CLINT MANSELL music for the American film of the same name about drug addiction ....
    2. Same lech
      Same lech 24 July 2016 07: 35
      0
      This topic has been discussed repeatedly, it is not entirely clear why the promising and interesting direction is still not being implemented in the interests of the Navy or the citizen.


      It seems that the professor wrote something about the shortcomings of ekranoletov ...

      everything new always with difficulty in our conditions makes its way ... here too.
      However, I am afraid that RUSSIA, as always, will again have to buy these devices abroad invented in RUSSIA ...
      sadness.
      1. Simpsonian
        Simpsonian 24 July 2016 07: 42
        -1
        This one will write to you ...
      2. The comment was deleted.
      3. You Vlad
        You Vlad 24 July 2016 14: 08
        +2
        There were some pluses, there was no party interest! We could but did not! Americans wanted but could not!
    3. chunga-changa
      chunga-changa 24 July 2016 11: 17
      +1
      Quote: avg-mgn
      why a promising and interesting direction is still not being realized either in the interests of the Fleet or in the civilian life

      Maybe because neither there nor there this "interesting direction" is interesting and unnecessary to anyone, maybe it is not so promising? A unicycle is also interesting in its own way, and in terms of saving wheels it is very promising, but for some reason, apart from clowns and individual enthusiasts, no one is interested in them either. Maybe because there is a smarter, more convenient and safer alternative?
      1. Simpsonian
        Simpsonian 24 July 2016 22: 48
        0
        It is "useless" because in the military application the ekranoplane is the only way to land on CONUS (continguous United States), by ordinary means you can land only in Alaska.

        Even the Eaglets with their practical ceiling of 3000-4500m provided the Soviet Navy with the ability to quickly project power from the Caspian to the Persian Gulf (in Iran there is practically no landscape above 2800m) and into the Indian Ocean.
    4. Verdun
      Verdun 24 July 2016 11: 39
      +4
      Quote: avg-mgn
      About "Sterkh" they were silent, and the states built their "Pelican".

      By the way, the Americans learned to build large ekranoplanes only after in the nineties, on the direct instructions of the then governor of Nizhny Novgorod - Boris Nemtsov - the drawings of our ekranoplanes were transferred to them from the Sormovsky Design Bureau. If you believe the people from KB, with whom I had a chance to communicate on this topic, then our "friends" to KB itself did not pay a dime for this.
  2. avg-mgn
    avg-mgn 24 July 2016 07: 35
    +7

    Vice-President of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems Captain First Rank Konstantin Sivkov: “The ekranoplan should be in demand by the military. From a military point of view, an ekranoplane cannot be destroyed either by anti-aircraft missiles, since it flies too low for them, or anti-ship, because it does not touch water and moves too fast. In addition, due to the screen, the capacity of the ekranoplanes is much higher than that of aircraft with the same fuel consumption. "

    http://zema.su/blog/novyi-russkii-ekranoplan-sterkh-10-zadachi-i-perspektivy-vid

    eo

    "Lun" worked on a wave of up to 6 points, however.
    1. demiurg
      demiurg 24 July 2016 08: 03
      +3
      Why then did loonies stick out only in the Caspian? Why was there no experimental operation at the Pacific Fleet or the Northern Fleet?
      1. faiver
        faiver 24 July 2016 09: 04
        +5
        did not have time to break in and then the fruits of "detente and restructuring" and the collapse of the union, I will not say anything about the impact ekranoplanes, but in the service of the rescuers, in my opinion, he would not have a price ...
      2. You Vlad
        You Vlad 24 July 2016 14: 11
        +1
        They were generally secret.
        1. Andrey77
          Andrey77 24 July 2016 16: 54
          +1
          Nobody needed them for hell. From sailors to commander of the unit.
          1. You Vlad
            You Vlad 24 July 2016 20: 58
            +1
            Why do we need sailors on an airplane? This project was simply ahead of time! It was not needed not by Sailors not by Aviators! A competitor for which their money could be spent.
      3. Andrey77
        Andrey77 24 July 2016 16: 56
        0
        Ask the right questions. There will be no defendants.
        1. Simpsonian
          Simpsonian 24 July 2016 22: 52
          0
          Quote: Simpsonian
          Even the Eaglets with their practical ceiling of 3000-4500m provided the Soviet Navy with the ability to quickly project power from the Caspian to the Persian Gulf (in Iran there is practically no landscape above 2800m) and into the Indian Ocean.

          here is the correct answer for you - will there be more questioners?
  3. 0255
    0255 24 July 2016 09: 51
    0
    A very "meaningful" article. Author, could you write in more detail about ekranoplanes?
    1. sabakina
      sabakina 24 July 2016 10: 23
      +5
      I think 10 minutes of video is enough for you.
  4. The comment was deleted.
  5. Kostya Andreev
    Kostya Andreev 24 July 2016 14: 35
    0
    Regarding the need and not the need for ekranoalans, I think the General Staff of the Russian Federation is no more stupid than commentators on VO.
    And about Alekseev and his creations, often articles with this topic are published on VO (sometimes it even happens to be De-javu) and it is difficult to write a new one in the country, either in the article itself or in the comments. topic explored contested. The last article was from the respected Polina Efimova, dedicated to "Rocket". I read it with surprise. I was surprised that Polina usually writes so that you can recognize the author on the fly, but here I was wrong!
    1. Andrey77
      Andrey77 24 July 2016 16: 52
      0
      The subject is puffed up.
      1. Simpsonian
        Simpsonian 25 July 2016 06: 27
        0
        Quote: Andrey77
        topic studied contested.

        Quote: Andrey77
        The subject is puffed up.


        try to argue why a flying boat with a cut-off wing (so that it doesn’t shake) you need 3 tons of anchors in weight, and why they had to be made of steel, while everyone switched even to displacement ships to aluminum-magnesium or some other alloys ... and still they were flying! laughing and the Soviet Navy were exploited.
  6. Andrey77
    Andrey77 24 July 2016 16: 50
    0
    The topic of development has not received. The author kept silent about counterarguments. Article minus.
    1. Simpsonian
      Simpsonian 24 July 2016 22: 56
      0
      Is the topic on SM-1 over? lol
      there are no counterarguments other than Butoma's "telegraph pole"

      The ekranoplan is just a low-wing, low-wing flying boat, optimized for long-term flight on a shaver using a screen effect.
      1. Simpsonian
        Simpsonian 24 July 2016 23: 21
        0
        Alekseev is a shipbuilder, he came to the same design, in addition to avoiding hydrofoil cavitation, looking at accidents of speedboats, gliders, which without any wings on one hull often jumped out of the water in the wave, flew uncontrollably in the air for some time and then crashed into water . And now the same thing happens to them at the races ...
        1. Simpsonian
          Simpsonian 24 July 2016 23: 26
          -2
          Bartini was an aircraft designer, and proceeded from the fact that an ordinary LL high wing with a large elongation wing at a low height would catch a wave with the float and ends of the wings, in addition, because of the large wing, it would fall apart due to a chatter during a long flight at an extremely low altitude the pilots will have brains ...
  7. Scharnhorst
    Scharnhorst 24 July 2016 17: 49
    +3
    I agree with Andrew 77. In addition to the name, the CM-1 machine is mentioned twice in the article and in only one paragraph. Everything else is plagiarized history from other sources. It’s a pity for the article, I was led by an intriguing title. I apologize for the harshness.
    1. Simpsonian
      Simpsonian 25 July 2016 06: 32
      -2
      Why, for example, about cavitation it was on business and interesting ... In fact, raised hydrofoils above the water, slightly increasing them.
  8. siemens7774
    siemens7774 25 July 2016 19: 24
    0
    Quote: avg-mgn
    This topic has been discussed more than once, it is not entirely clear why a promising and interesting direction has not yet been implemented either in the interests of the Navy or the citizen. I read a lot on the topic, there seem to be no pitfalls, but we are not building. About "Sterkh" they were silent, and the states built their "Pelican".

    Actually, you are a little wrong. In June, they launched the civilian Petrel M-24
  9. Human_manoid
    Human_manoid 9 January 2017 23: 41
    0
    Gentlemen, you forgot that the production of this equipment was during the Cold War. Then, about $ 50 million was spent on bribing officials for each unbuilt attack aircraft in the US budget.
    The Caspian Flotilla was successfully built. One experiment in the Sea of ​​Japan showed the possibility of entering through barrage networks and the sinking of a cruiser standing at the pier with a high-speed cannon.
    But to prove to fat officials the effectiveness of such developments for transporting cattle was never succeeded. All developments were discontinued, as well as the legendary 100 (supersonic 3-Mach aircraft).