The human dream has tremendous power. Years will pass, but persistence and faith will ultimately lead to the intended goal. These words succinctly characterize the EKIP project - a Soviet and Russian flying machine, which had all the prerequisites to become a fundamentally new type of air transport, but something went wrong …
"EKIP" (stands for "Ecology and Progress") is perhaps one of the most unusual, but at the same time promising aircraft of the USSR. Abroad, the plane was nicknamed "Russian UFO" because of its characteristic similarity to a flying saucer. The development of "EKIP" was carried out in the period 1980s - 1990s by the leading domestic aviation enterprises: RSC Energia im. Korolev, Federal State Unitary Enterprise TsAGI them. Zhukovsky and others. But throughout all these years, aircraft designer Lev Nikolaevich Shchukin remained the main ideological leader.
After lengthy theoretical and practical experiments, two prototypes were built: "EKIP L2-1" and EKIP L2-2 ", which successfully passed the tests and proved the effectiveness of the technology. Several times the state promised to start financing the aircraft, but in 2001 the project was finally closed. In the same year, the creator of "EKIP", Shchukin, also died, and did not wait for the flourishing of his brainchild. But let's not talk about the sad, but find out why this plane still has no analogues in the world.
The main motto of the project was: efficiency, environmental friendliness, flight safety, and most importantly - the ability to take off and land in almost any terrain. Those who were lucky enough to see the flight of this "miracle machine" unanimously declared that there was something extraterrestrial in "EKIP". And this is not only because of the unusual shape, reminiscent of an alien ship, but rather because of how smoothly and at the same time swiftly this plane flew through the air.
The take-off and landing of the "saucer" also amazes the imagination of an ordinary person: a sharp drop, descent and hover above the ground like a bird. Even now, a similar glide path is not available to most modern aircraft. At the same time, neither overcoming gravitational or wave resistance, nor other types of energy that have not yet been mastered by mankind have nothing to do with EKIP.
The secret of the aircraft's amazing flight lies in the so-called "thick wing", which will combine the functions of the wing itself and the fuselage. According to Novate.ru, instead of the chassis, the EKIP has an air cushion, thanks to which the vehicle can take off even from the field, even from the water surface. The effect of smooth sliding through the air lies in the unique system of flow around the airship's hull. The fact is that Shchukin was able to "teach" his plane what could not be implemented in other aircraft, namely, to use air resistance to his advantage.
Even if the engines fail, EKIP can glide smoothly to the ground at a speed of 3 m / s. At the same time, the operational characteristics of the aircraft are not at all comic. "EKIP" can fly both in airplane and ekranoplan mode at altitudes up to 10 kilometers. The maximum flight speed is 700 km / h, which remains high even for conventional aircraft.
It is no exaggeration to say that EKIP is a revolution in the world of aviation, which has remained within the framework of the experiment. Too many obstacles stood in the way of the project: the difficult economic situation in Russia in the 1990s and the conservative views of domestic aviation companies. Now the unique aircraft can be seen only in the Chernogolov Aviation Museum.
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