In 1987 Russia set out with high hopes to create a new kind of attack vehicle, They called it Project 903. The 350 ton airship/sea plane carried 6 Moskit Cruise missiles and was affectionately called the “Lun” after the Russian name for a bird of prey. Due to the end of cold war the project was changed to a rescue aircraft but the entire program was never fully realised and soon this craft went to the scrap yard.
These crafts were developed by the Soviet Union as high-speed military transports, and were based mostly on the shores of the Caspian Sea & Black Sea. They probably should be considered more of a flying ship rather than sea-planes but much like the Spruce Goose from Howard Hughes, the plane occupies a grey area as it could fly, but only meters off the sea surface at best.
It is also interesting to note that this aircraft is one of the largest ever built, with a length of 73,8 meters (comparing with 73 of Airbus A380) and 8 turbojet engines. The “Lun” doesn’t have a landing gear, only a huge hydroski so there’s no way for it to get onto land and for this reason a special floating dry dock was designed for it.
The fore-part of the plane possesses the pilot house and a pillar that holds the 8 main engines. The whole keel is filled with power installation for electricity supply during mooring and a complex of radio navigation and communication equipment. A room for a gunner is placed in a cross-line of keel and stabilizer at a height of 12 meters over the waterline. The ecranoplan’s crew consisted of 7 officers and 4 warrant officers. It could be absolutely autonomous for 5 days.
Class & type: Lun
Type: Ground effect vehicle transport
Displacement: Displacement n/a, weight 286 tonnes unloaded
Length: 73.8 m
Beam: (Wingspan) 44 m
Height: 19.2 m
Draught: (2.5m 8.2ft)
Propulsion: 8× Kuznetsov NK-87 turbojet engines, 127.4 kN (28,600 lbf) thrust
Speed: 297 kn (550 km/h; 342 mph)
Range: 1,000 nmi (1,900 km; 1,200 mi)
Capacity: 100 tonnes (220,000 pounds)
Complement: six officers and nine enlisted men
processing systems: Puluchas search radar
Armament: Six fixed-elevation P-270 Moskitantiship missile launchers
4×23 mm PI-23 turrets (2 x 2, 2,400 rounds)
Notes: one built