A-90 Orlyonok

A-90 "Orlyonok" in Moscow

Soviet ekranoplan that was designed by Rostislav Evgenievich Alexeyev of the Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau.

- A-90 Orlyonok

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Ground-effect vehicle

Vehicle that is able to move over the surface by gaining support from the reactions of the air against the surface of the earth or water.

Ekranoplan A-90 Orlyonok
WIG-wings configurations: (A)Ekranoplan; (B)Reverse-delta wing; (C)Tandem wing.
A Russian light ekranoplan Aquaglide-2
Artist's concept of a Lun-class ekranoplan in flight
The Bartini Beriev VVA-14, developed during the 1970s
Model of the Beriev Be-2500 concept aircraft
The Rhein-Flugzeugbau X-114 in flight.
A tandem flarecraft Skimmerfoil Jörg IV located at the SAAF Museum, Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
(It has since been removed from the museum)
A Hoverwing

It produced the most successful ekranoplan so far, the 125-tonne A-90 Orlyonok.

Rostislav Alexeyev

Russian Soviet Director & Chief of Design known for his pioneering work on hydrofoil ships and ground effect vehicles.

A-90 Orlyonok ("Eaglet") in Moscow.
Monument of Rostislav Alexeyev in Nizhny Novgorod, Bugrovskoye cemetery

Alexeyev was an accomplished designer of hydrofoil ships, such as the Raketa, and became a prominent developer of ground effect vehicles, particularly the Caspian Sea Monster and the A-90 Orlyonok.

Alekseyev Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau

Company based in Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia.

It designed and manufactured several designs for wing-in-ground-effect vehicles, including the 400-ton Lun-class ekranoplan, 140-ton A-90 Orlyonok, and 20-ton Utka.

Kuznetsov NK-12

Soviet turboprop engine of the 1950s, designed by the Kuznetsov design bureau.

NK-12M Turboprop engine on a Tu-95 at RIAT Fairford 1993
A pair of Kuznetsov NK-12MAs installed on an Antonov An-22

It also powered the Antonov An-22 Antei (with NK-12MA), the world's largest aircraft at the time, and several types of amphibious assault craft, such as the A-90 Orlyonok "Ekranoplan".

PAR thrust

Use of displaced air in enhancing the air cushion under the wings or body of what is normally a Wing In Ground-effect or WIG craft.

NASA photo showing Earth's atmosphere at sunset, with Earth silhouetted

A notable spin-off of this technique was the A-90 Orlyonok ekranoplane, which was powered in flight by a massive Kuznetsov NK-12 turboprop (by far the most powerful ever built), and required two large turbofans embedded in the nose for take-off, whose ducts pointed permanently downwards under the wings to provide PAR thrust.

List of aircraft (0–Ah)

List of aircraft in numerical order of manufacturer beginning with a digit, followed by alphabetical order beginning with numeral '0' through 'Ah'.

ACHDB A-90 Orlyonok

Buck Danny

Franco-Belgian comics series about a military flying ace and his two sidekicks serving in the United States Navy or the United States Air Force.

From left to right: Tumbler, Tuckson and Danny as drawn on the back cover of the original publication albums.

There is enough technical detail however in the realistic depiction of the various Soviet aircraft, helicopters and ships, especially the Kuznetsov and the A-90 Orlyonok ekranoplan which plays a key role in the later part of the adventure.

Contra-rotating propellers

Aircraft equipped with contra-rotating propellers, also referred to as CRP, coaxial contra-rotating propellers, or high-speed propellers, apply the maximum power of usually a single piston or turboprop engine to drive a pair of coaxial propellers in contra-rotation.

Contra-rotating propellers
Contra-rotating propellers on the Rolls-Royce Griffon-powered P-51XR Mustang Precious Metal at the 2014 Reno Air Races
Contra-rotating propellers of a Spitfire Mk XIX
One of the four contra-rotating propellers on a Tu-95 Russian strategic bomber
XB-35 Flying Wing showing its quartet of pusher contra-rotating propellers. The option was later discarded due to severe vibration in flight and later changed to traditional single rotating propellers.
Douglas XB-42 Mixmaster
General Motors P-75 Eagle

Of lesser note is the use of the NK-12 engine in the A-90 Orlyonok, a mid-size Soviet ekranoplan.

Nikolai Dmitriyevich Kuznetsov

Chief Designer of the Soviet Design Bureau OKB-276 which deals with the development, manufacture and distribution of equipment, especially aircraft engines, turbines and gearboxes.

Hemisphere view

It was used in the Antonov An-22 aircraft, A-90 Orlyonok Ekranoplane and the Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bomber among others.

JSC Kuznetsov

One of the leading Russian producers of aircraft engines, liquid-propellant rocket engines as well as aeroderivative gas turbines and modular stations.


Kuznetsov NK-8 turbofan. Powers the original Ilyushin Il-62, A-90 Orlyonok ekranoplan and the Tupolev Tu-154A and B models.