Yes, it’s a concept. No, it’s not that crazy. This 36m flying yacht could work. After all, it’s just a very pretty ekranoplane, aircraft-ship hybrids that can float like a sea vessel and fly a few metres over the water surface.
Ekranoplanes were originally invented in Scandinavia, but it was Rostislav Alexeev — a Soviet engineer at the Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau — who perfected them and ultimately built monsters like this:
At the time, these ship-aircraft hybrids were created to transport vast quantities of heavy war machines and soldiers at very high speed, using something called ground effect: As the ekranoplane increased speed, the small wings interacted with the ground bellow, lifting the ship up a few feet above the surface of the water. The largest ekranoplane during those years was the “Caspian Sea Monster”, a 550-ton beast that could travel up to 20m over water, swooshing at an amazing 740km/h – much faster than any regular sea vessel.
After the Soviet Union’s collapse, the large-scale military ekranoplanes were abandoned. However, other companies have been building small ekranoplanes – some capable of taking six people in. None of them are as big as this EkranoYacht which, while it may be technically feasible to develop and build, it would probably be way too expensive even for Russian billionaires. That said, if there are any Russian billionaires reading this, by all means do it and call us. You will make a lot of nerds very happy, myself included. [Design Awards via Born Rich]