Ekranoplan Lun – Derbent, Russia - Atlas Obscura
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Ekranoplan Lun

Derbent, Russia

An enormous Soviet aircraft, the only one of its kind, stands at the deserted shore of the Caspian Sea. 

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Ekranoplan is a Russian word describing so-called “ground-effect-vehicles.” They look like planes but are able to move over the surface by gaining support from the reactions of the air against the surface of the earth or water. “Lun” is a huge ekranoplan built in the USSR in 1987. It measures approximately 73 meters (240 feet) in length, almost 20 meters (65 feet) in height, and has a wingspan of 44 meters (144 feet). Only one vehicle of this class was built and served in the Soviet Army (and the Russian Army after that) on the Caspian Sea.

The vehicle was in use till late 1990 and after retirement stood unused at a  naval base in Kaspiysk (Russian Republic of Dagestan) until 2020. Then it was decided to move it to a new place, near the city of Derbent, where the aircraft was meant to be moved onshore and used as a central element of Patriotic Park. Lun was indeed moved out from the Sea, 20 kilometers south of Derbent, but the park is yet to be created and nobody knows when it will happen.

As of the summer of 2021, Ekranoplan Lun stands on the seashore and everyone, who makes the short taxi ride from Derbent can go around and see this unique creature. 

Know Before You Go

The place is about 20 km south of Derbent, Republic of Dagestan. There is no public transport to get there, the best way is to take a taxi from Derbent and ask the driver to wait while you are exploring. Every local knows, where the Ekranoplan stands, so no need to know the address.

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