The Nation: The Great Caspian Sea Monster

One awesome example of the Soviet Union's improving military technology is this gigantic vehicle. Now being tested over the Caspian Sea, the aircraft is the largest in the world, weighing an estimated 500 tons.

The Soviet design employs a revolutionary principle: the jet blast from the eight engines mounted on the stubby forward wing is aimed to hit the water and bounce back up under the main wing to create a lifting bubble of air similar to that on which Hovercraft ride. When fully developed in the late '70s, the creation is expected to thunder along at speeds up to 350 m.p.h....

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