E.V. Vasilyev book

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The main developer of RDC Aqualines ekranoplans technical concept was Edward V. Vasiliev.
His whole professional life till the last day was dedicated to ekranoplans.

After graduating from aviation institute he started his career in the Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau. There, under the guidance of Rostislav E. Alexeyev, he participated in designing, constructing, testing of several ekranoplans and putting those into operation within the framework of the USSR ekranoplans program.

Since 2000, he continued to work independently on the project for a passenger ekranoplan, which embodied the best achievements of the Soviet design school.

In 2013, E.V. Vasilyev, in cooperation with P. Tsarapkin, started the RDC Aqualines project.

Even on his last day, June 18, 2016, he continued to work, in order to preserve the scientific and technical groundwork and make ekranoplans a new type of commercial transport open to public.

Professional experience:

  • - Kazan Aviation Institute, 1965, aircraft construction, mechanical engineer. Ekranoplans design studies.
  • - Engineer-designer, senior engineer, leading designer of the UT-1 project in the Design Department of the Central Design Bureau for hydrofoils (Nizhny Novgorod).
  • - Head of the Design Department of the Central Design Bureau test station for ekranoplans (IS-2, Chkalovsk, UT-1, SM-8, SM-6).
  • - Participation in projects for Alexeyev's ekranoplans - projects VTE, 904, in R & D, including models testings in wind tunnel of the KAI and the Zhukovsky academy.
  • - As the chief of the design department, he carried out modernization and provided testing of the UT-1, SM-8 and SM-6 ekranoplans in Chkalovsk and Kaspiisk.
  • - Within the framework of a number of research projects, development of dozens of laboratory models and testing them on IS-2 stands.
  • - Development of the stand and volumetric static tests of the SM-6 ekranoplan twin before destruction.
  • - Participation in the development of experimental hovercrafts (Typhoon, Sibir, Lastochka, Malysh).

Inventions (author's certificates):

  • - "Ekranoplan", AC N 1837508 from 13.10.1992.
  • - "Ekranoplan with hydrodynamic takeoff device", AC N 1837508 from 13.10.1992.
  • - "A hydroskiing device for ekranoplan", AC N 1837506 from 13.10.1992.
  • - "A hydroskiing device for ekranoplan", AC N 1837507 from 13.10.1992.
  • - "Takeoff underwater wing device of the ekranoplan", AC N 3174441 of 13.10.1992.
  • - "Takeoff accelerator ...", AC N 1486397 from 15.02.1989.



Ekranoplan is a new-generation vehicle
combining elements of aviation and marine technologies.
In fact, ekranoplans are high-speed vessels
reaching flight speed.

Currently, RDC Aqualines launches the project for civil ekranoplan manufacturing.

Operational characteristics of ekranoplans assume
a wide range of application of these vehicles, where they have
competitive advantage in relation to other types of vehicles:

  • - Passenger and cargo transportation;
  • - Transport support of activities of oil and gas companies in hard-to-reach areas;
  • - Transport support of activities of operational services
    (emergency service, medical service, conservancies, Coast Guard).


Due to application of unique developments and aviation technologies ekranoplans can reach speeds of over 200 km/h.

Fuel efficiency

The ekranoplan consumes significantly less fuel per unknit of cargo/distance compared to hydrofoil, hovercraft and aircraft.

Low operation costs

There is no need in creating special infrastructure for operation of ekranoplans. A standard port berth or a waterside concrete hardstand are sufficient for loading/unloading of passengers ang cargo.


Ekranoplan is protected from collapse by its aerodynamic characteristics. Even in case of sudden engine failure the vehicle loses speed and gently lowers to the water surface, remaining on it like a ship.


Ability to launch and land on a seaway is achieved through helicopter type screws and a special skiing and shock-mitigating device (hydroski).


These vehicles are capable to independently go on a waterside concrete hardstand for loading/unloading, deploying and maintenance.

Application of standard navigation devices

and transport security for operation in areas of dense traffic.

RDC Aqualines Ekranoplans technical advantages

Aerohydrodynamic conception

Aerohydrodynamic conception

Takeoff of the ekranoplan with shock-mounted hydroski (EP-2)

Aerohydrodynamic conception

Flying and seagoing characteristics of the ekranoplan with shock-mounted hydroski

In terms of physical characteristics, the range of operating speeds is limited,
on the one hand – by a minimum speed of sustainable aquaplaning (after the top of resistance),
on the other hand – by the maximum permissible speed for conditions
of longitudinal stability. For example, for a light ekranoplan
with 550 hp engine this range for the flight and maneuvers near the ground effect zone
, with a rreleased hydroski, is approximately (look at the diagrams):
V operational = (0,7 – 1,2) V cruising = 100-190 km/h.



According to the accepted international classification, all vehicles using
the ground effect as one of the main motion modes are divided into three
categories (A, B, C), depending on the ability to go above the height of the ground effect zone.

RDC Aqualines develops only A type ekranoplans, which are not
capable of going above the height of the ground effect zone.
Existing Russian and international certification rules consider such ekranoplans
as high-speed vesselss, so they are subject to general rules
for sea traffic. The most relevant are the following solutions
for the issue of certification of ekranoplan as a passenger vessel:

1. The Russian Maritime Register of Shipping issued the Rules for Classification and Construction of lightweight A type ekranoplans in 1998


RDC Aqualines ekranoplans are designed in accordance with provisions of the specified rules. Currently, as a result of negotiations with RDC Aqualines partners, the Transport Safety Agency of Finland and the Thai Maritime Transport Department are studying the possibility of recognizing these rules as suitable for certification of ekranoplans as high-speed passenger vessels in these countries.

2. The International Maritime Organization has issued a Preliminary Guide for WIG vehicles


The document contains general requirements for ekranoplans design and operation. RDC Aqualines, in cooperation with its French partner, IEA, is working on the revision of the current version of the rules in order to harmonize it with the RMRS rules and empirical data obtained during the tests. Based on the results of this work, it will be possible to certify ekranoplans as a high-speed passenger vessel in IMO through authorized organizations in member countries.

3. Lloyd's Register issued the rules for ekranoplans classification in 2008


At the moment, the society reported the withdrawal of these rules from use due to the lack of sufficient applications for vessels classification. After testing the EP-15 ekranoplan prototype, RDC Aqualines intends to propose to the Lloyd's Register to consider the possibility of resuming the Rules so that the operators of the ekranoplans could take advantage of working with this world-famous classification society.



The legal format of owning and operating the ekranoplan as a high-speed passenger vessel
does not differ from other types of vessels in this category.
They are subject to the requirements and restrictions provided
for high-speed passenger vessels of this category
(depending on displacement, passenger capacity and other characteristics).

To obtain permission to operate an ekranoplan on a specific route line,
it is necessary to get a permission from the authorized national transport agency,
as well as each port in which it is going to be operated. So, for example,
for the legal operation of EP-15 ekranoplan on the Tallinn-Helsinki route line,
in addition to the vessel classification certificate, permission
of the following organizations is required:

Estonian Maritime Administration;

Transport Safety Agency of Finland;

Port of Tallinn;

Port of Helsinki.