Links courtesy of the Rocket Dungeon.
What the heck is an Ekranoplan? To oversimplify, it's a boat that flies by taking advantage of the wing-in-ground effect. Clear as mud, eh? Ok, how about this:
...when an airplane is about to land, it almost wants to "float" on air, moments before touchdown. The compressed air between the wing and the ground becomes a "cushion" that gives the plane smooth gliding ability. Over the sea surface this effect is even more noticeable.
So it's a vehicle that can travel many time faster than a boat and carry many times more weight than an aircraft. Some designs could even "fly" over dry ground.
No matter what, they usually look weird (click komrade, for glorious Soviet-size).
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