The Cold War, that is.

I just came across a reference to the Caspian Sea Monster, a not-quite airplane that floats on a cushion of air above the water.

Yup – turbofans ahead and above the stubby wings, six missiles, a tail full of radar, and some interesting aquadynamic curves up front to help it get going.

More details here, and some incredible current-day close-ups here.  If you prefer the original Russian instead of Google’s translation, click here.

The acronym WIG stands for Wing In Ground, which roughly translates to “ground effect”.  The comments, even machine translated, are informative.  I especially like

One of the major obstacles of regular operation of WIG is that the place of their intended flight (along rivers) very precisely coincides with zones of maximum concentration of birds

There’s implications there, at multiple levels.

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