MD-160 “Lun-Class” Ekranoplan: Resting Places (XI).

Weird scenes inside the USSR. The MD-160 Lun (Harrier in Russian) was an ekranoplan launched in the early 1980’s. With a load capacity of 91 metric tons, its main mission was anti-ship warfare. For that purpose, the Lun mounted on its back six P-270 Moskit (SS-N-22 Sunburn) missiles. This massive aircraft ended as the only one of its kind, since the fall of the USSR and the budget cuts forced the program to be suspended in the middle 1990’s. Powered by eight Kuznetsov NK-87 turbofans, placed on its forward canards, the Lun was the fastest ekranoplan of its time with a maximum speed of 550 km/h. It surely wasn’t the prettiest.

The unique MD-160 built rotting nicely in Kaspiysk, Russia. Look at the complexity of its bow lines.

Convair B-58 Hustler: Bitch, Please !!

In fact, the B-58’s form of pre-recorded female voice warning system provided by Nortronics Division of Northrop Corporation was recorded by actress and singer Joan Elms, not by Gina Drazin. The crew referred to that voice as “Sexy Sally” or as “The (Old) Bitch”…. since she always brought bad tidings.

Photo taken from the July 1962 issue “Popular Science”.

Sukhoi Jet Engine Powered Aircraft: We must begin somewhere.

This was Pavel Sukhoi’s OKB first attempt into the jet aircraft design. Conceived as a purely research aircraft in late 1942, this dandy artifact had an annular intake scoop placed the fuselage just behind its teardrop-shaped cockpit capsule. The nose section would have housed both the cockpit and a fuel tank, and was to be attached to the larger diameter central fuselage by four pylons. The central fuselage was to contain the “half-step” composite jet engine: a classic air-cooled engine -with an oil cooler- driving a pair of co-axial propellers was employed to supply compressed air to a sort of jet engine’s fuel injection/combustion chamber placed in the tapered tube. Complex enough?. The project never left the drawing board.

Very Soviet style artist’s impression of the subject. It could have been really something.