This is a great article about the first hovercrafts in Russia. It’s on Scout Paget’s blog which a very cool blog.
‘Sormovich’ was built in 1965. During the tests she reached the speed of 120 km/h (75 miles/hr), and went above the surface at a height of 0.25-0.3 m (approx. 1 ft), – she had easily overcome the shallow water and landed gently on the beach.
It looks like an airplane’s fuselage zipping on the water…
The Soviet Sormovich: A gas-turbine passenger hovercraft that operated on an experimental passenger line along the Volga River (Gorky – Cheboksary) in 1971-1972, which was 274 km (170 miles). A round trip from Gorky to Cheboksary took one day.
The ship had a crew of 3 people and could carry up to 50 passengers. The passenger lounge was placed at the bow. Operation was complicated by problems with the dispensing gear that failed. According to the statistics the Sormovich served about 6,000 passengers.
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