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Is this 'UFO' the future of travel to Siberia remote outposts?

By The Siberian Times reporter
18 January 2013

At first sight it maybe a UFO but in fact this both a boat and a plane - and it is to be tested in Spring on the River Lena in the Sakha Republic.

Travelling about Siberia in style: Burevestnik-24 amphibian goes two and five metres about the water or ice, and can rise up to 50 meters to avoid obstacles

Known as a 'high speed amphibian', the Russian-developed Burevestnik-24 offers amazingly flexible potential ideal for Siberian conditions. The testing on the Lena was announced by the government of Sakha - also known as Yakutia - which is the largest region in Russia.

The Burevestnik-24 has three modes of operation with a range of 1,200km. At a speed of 30 kilometres per hour, the vessel travels like an ordinary boat. 

At 120 km per hour, it skims over the water surface, and at 240 km per hour it rises above the water due to surface-effect and in this mode it is much more efficient than ordinary boats.

Developed by Sea and Sky Company, it is designed to carry 24 passengers or 3.5 tonnes of cargo and can operate all year round. Over ice it has an 'aero-sledge' mode involving a speed of up to 120 km per hour. A plan for a 100-seat version has been proposed. 

Viktor Potylitsyn, a specialist at the Republican Ministry of Transport, said the amphibian boat - also known as a 'ground effect aircraft' and a 'ground effect marine craft' - does not require a wharf infrastructure.

Using a unique design, the engines are atop of the wings, facing backwards and have 'pushing propellers'.

Its normal flying mode sees it between two and five metres about the water or ice but to avoid dangerous obstacles it can rise to 30 to 50 metres. 

The designers see it as being used on rivers as well as over the sea or on large lakes. It could be used by tourists to travel to existing tourists attractions or open up new destinations which are currently hard to reach by other modes of transport. 

The craft could be used by rescue and emergency services as well as for scientific and ecological expeditions. Another key use in Siberia could be to service oil and gas platforms. The craft is 15 metres long with a wing span of 16 metres. 

Watch Burevestnik-24 flying:

Comments (1)

good fun!
Berg, Norway
18/01/2013 00:47

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