International Institute for Advanced Aerospace Technologies – IIAAT

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Ekranoplane «Spasatel» presentation

Preparing for launch and presentations of ekranoplane «Spasatel»

Wing-in-ground effect craft or «ekranoplane» is the original type of transport means flying with airplane speed close to a base surface (screen).

Russian city Nizhni Novgorod is the motherland of ekranoplanes. They have been constructed there since 1961 under the leadership of the main designer R. E. Alekseyev. In 1966 the flight of famous «KM» (of 540 tons) took place, in 1979 «Orlyonok» (of 140 tons) was administered to the exploitation, in 1989 the missile launcher ekranoplane «Lun» (about 400 tons) was enlisted in the Navy. Many research and designing institutes of Saint-Petersburg and Moscow participate in the creation of these unique ekranoplanes, whose projection was accomplished in «CKB po SPK».

In 1989 after the tragic accident on nuclear submarine «Komsomolets» where 42 mariners died the decision was made to re-equipment the second «Lun», being at that time under construction , into a search-and-rescue maritime ekranoplane «Spasatel». The considerable part of works had already been accomplished by the time of USSR breakdown followed by drastically reduction of the budget finance of Russian Navy. At present the readiness of «Spasatel» is estimated at 98%.

In 1998 IIAAT took the initiative in developing the concept of new prospects for «Spasatel». It widens the range of the craft applications and shows the new sources of financing of its constructing completion, marine tests and exploitation. IIAAT develops this concept in collaboration with The First Central Navy Scientific-Research Institute of Ministry of Defense of Russia, «CKB po SPK» named after R. E. Alekseyev and the plant «Volga» which builds «Spasatel». It envisages the creation of expedient condition for invitation of Russian and foreign investors, concerned in ekranoplanes development, and bears on the experience of IIAAT participation in international projects in the field of ekranoplanes research and constructing.

The concept realization in the actual edition supposes transporting of «Spasatel» to the northwest region of Russia, its conclusive equipping, testing on the Ladoga lake and subsequent exploitation on Baltic sea and adjacent aquatories. The presentation of «Spasatel» can be held near Saint-Petersburg. Russian and foreign participants are expected. The demonstration flights of «Spasatel» and other ekranoplanes, symposium and discussions on scientific, technological and commercial aspects of ekranoplanes applications in various fields are planned. IIAAT and other participants of the project are interested in business proposals concerning the investment plan as well as new ideas on the project actualization. All the suggestions and offers being sent to IIAAT President will be highly appreciated.

Description of ekranoplane «Spasatel»

Ekranoplane designer: Central Design Bureau «TsKB po SPK» n.a. R.E. Alekseyev
Ekranoplane manufacture: Shipbuilding Plant «Volga», Nizhni Novgorod, Russia

Main Applications

  • Search and rescue operations at accidents with ships, submarines, planes, oil towers, etc.
  • The evacuation of crews at sea landing of space craft.

Possible Applications

  • The evacuation of citizenry from the areas of waterflood or other cataclysms.
  • The urgent localization of oil pollution on water.
  • Cargo and passengers transportation.

Performance Data

Take off weight: 400 tons (882,000 lbs)
Length: 73.8 m (240 ft)
Span: 44.0 m (144 ft)
Height: 19.2 m (65 ft)
Speed of motion at cruise flight: 450-550 km/h (243-297 kts)
Speed of motion in displacement position: 20-100 km/h (10.8-54 kts)
Range of flight: 3.000 km (1.620 nm)
Range in displacement position: 400 km (216 nm)
Sea endurance: 5 days
Cruise altitude: 1-5 m (3.3-16 ft)
Altitude of flight at search: 500 m (1.640 ft)
Max altitude of flight: 7500 m (24.600 ft)
Max waves height at take off and landing: 2.5-3.5 m (8.2-11.5 ft)
Max waves height at flight: unlimited
Powerplant: eight NK-87 turbofans of 13 tons (28.660 lbs) trust each
Crew: 9 plus 19 rescuer
Max number of saved people: 150-500 (among them 70 - cot case)

Areas of the raised interest at the analysis of ekranoplanes application prospects

  • Fast transport (passenger and cargo) routes along the coast or between the islands.
  • Cross-country transport routs above desert, water, ice, snow and any other flat surface (including artificial profiles).
  • All-the-year-round transportation of cargoes in the Arctic areas.
  • Transportation of fruits and other perishable goods from far islands without aerodromes.
  • Transportation of petroleum along a route desert-sea-ice and other complex routes.
  • Transport service for fishers’ fleet and sea petroleum platforms.
  • Patrolling of the boundary, economic zone, protection against terrorists and contrabandists.
  • Transportation on a route the sea-isthmus-sea.
  • Large-scale advertising and entertaining measures.
  • Search-and-rescue operations.
  • Aerospace plane horizontal landing on moving ekranoplane and horizontal launch for prospective aerospace planes.
  • Application as an assault landing craft crossing mine fields easily, as missiles carrier, for submarines detection.

Address: IIAAT, SUAI, 67, Bolshaya Morskaya, Saint-Petersburg, 190000, RUSSIA
Phone: +7 (812) 494-70-16; Fax: +7 (812) 494-70-18; E-mail: