The 540 ton Ekranoplan or Caspian Sea Monster as it was called, can travel over water in excess of 290 knots! This is a phenomenal speed for what is basically a sea going vessel.
Ekranoplan is a Russian word, it means ‘screen craft’ or ‘skimmer’. It is not a plane nor is it a ship, its more like a mixture of both. The Ekranoplan travels along on a dynamic cushion of air that is generated by its forward movement, and with eight powerful turbofan jet engines it can reach a high rate of knots.
The Ekranoplan has similar characteristics of the common hovercraft, in that it flies just above the surface of the water as it moves. However, it will not hover whilst stationary but just sit and float in the water like a boat. Its a revolutionary way to travel over the oceans at high speed and the Russians thought of it first.