Stanley Greene | Chechen Island , Dagestan, Russia, 2013
© Stanley Greene / NOOR
Caption: Chechen Island was used in secret for the testing of The "Kaspian Monster" sea plane that could take off from the water , the Island was closed to the public from 1964 – 1982. I. The first spy photographs from American spy satellites showed a strange aircraft carrying letters "KM" on its fuselage. CIA disambiguated it as "Kaspian Monster", while it actually meant "Korabl maket" – "prototype ship" in Russian. Chief designer for this aircraft was Rostislav Alexeyev, lead engineer — V.Efimov
The ekranoplan had wingspan of 37.6 m, length – 92 m, maximum take-off weight – 544 tons. Until An-225 it was the largest aircraft in the world.
KM was designed as a special vehicle for the military and rescue teams. However designing such a machine caused serious difficulties. It was documented as a marine vessel and prior to the first flight a bottle of champagne was broken against its nose. It displayed the Soviet Navy Flag and was assigned to the Soviet Navy, since the ground effect is only possible within several meters from the surface. The new vehicle was, however, piloted by air force test pilots.KM testing started in 1966 at the Caspian sea near Kaspiysk (Dagestan).
First flight was performed by V. Loginov and Rostislav Alexeyev himself, which was very unusual - most Soviet aircraft designers never piloted their own creations. All works were conducted under patronage of the Ministry of shipbuilding industry.
KM was tested at the Caspian Sea for 15 years until 1980. In 1980, pilot error caused a crash without human casualties. The vehicle was too heavy to be recovered from its watery wrecksite.
by then the economy was completey destroyed , and only people with no where to go , stayed , fishing was the only industry , and it was limited and later semi banned by the Russian government due to over fishing , now the Island has only a few residents , and they say they are dying like the island .
Fine Art Baryta Paper Print
NOOR Authentic Stamp on the verso