W.I.G.E. or Ekranoplan...


Not my photograph but I have seen this beast on a dockside alongside Lake Skadar in Montenegro. Looking very sorry for itself, I guess it’s some kind of Wing In Ground Effect machine, a scaled down Ekranoplan if you like but does anyone out there know just what it is. whose design / build / or any more information?



Some version of the Russian Aquaglide, not sure of the model number of the twin engine version.

Here’s the latest single engine version.




Dear Santa…

This has to be at the top of my Christmas list. If I can’t have a new one can you please trace the one in the picture. I can get a restoration team together…

JHEM…Thanks for that information.



Live near a lot of protected water?

My pleasure.




Do I live near lots of protected water…two of the biggest lakes in Southern Spain are within 30 minutes drive…and after the winter we’ve just come through they are Full and there is still a few thousand tons of snow up in the high Sierras behind Granada. Could be a few problems when it all melts…

As for the subject aircraft; I’ve been digging the depths of the net all day and it turns out this beast is a Volga 2; built by the same design team that was responsible for the original Ekranoplan air-ship…and lots of them have been sold but mainly in Russia, because at the time, the Cold War was still going on and the Russians couldn’t export outside of ‘friendly’ states and countries. Photographs of the Volga 2 are very few and far between and are nearly all of the subject airframe in it’s much graffitied and wrecked state.

I first saw it in 1985 in Virpazar in Montenegro. At that time it was pretty much in an OK state, operated by the Yugoslav Navy on Lake Skadar to patrol the Albanian Frontier which runs through the lake.

After the fall of Yugoslavia and the segregation of it’s member states, the airframe was lifted out of the water and left. Some entrepreneurial businessman bought it with the intention of operating it as a sightseeing craft on the lake (The lake is huge see Google Earth!)

Unfortunately for him and the subject airframe when Serbia under Milosovich started flexing it’s muscles, the UN imposed sanctions prior to bombing the hell out Belgrade and Montenegro. Montenegro was dragged into the conflict by association and that put an end to tourism for 10 years.

My wife and I were on the first UK tourist flight that arrived in Dubrovnik after the sanctions were lifted and that ten years of no tourism had hit Montenegro very hard. Resorts on the Adriatic Coast that depended on tourism were neglected and rundown and in a lot of cases closed.

For a lot of Brits, including us, Montenegro was an oasis of calm, far from the madding crowds of the Spanish Costa’s and the Greek Islands. It was and still is a beautiful country.

We did the usual touristy things and threw in a side trip to Virpazar and the airframe was still there pretty much as you see it now; stripped windows smashed and covered in graffiti.

I’ve seen on a Russian forum today that the airframe has now gone but no-one seems to know where.

Such a shame to see any airframe wasted, but this one was a bit special…

John aka pp


Thanks for the reply John. I live near the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays here in the US and often thought having a WIG would be a major source of giggles on those waterways.

Have you seen these sites in your Googling?


se-technology.com/wig/html/m … 0&craft=29


There used to be a few other RU WIG sites, but I’m getting 404 errors when I attempt to access them.



Yes, I saw those links and pretty well exhausted the se-technology website (well as far as is possible without forking out 50 bucks for a years membership…!)
I have sent Bernd at Ikarus an emailasking for more information…just how forthcoming they will be for an enthusiastic amateur remains to be seen…

I live near the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays here in the US and often thought having a WIG would be a major source of giggles on those waterways.

Here’s a thought…one of these would make a good tow-craft for waterskiing…65-75 knots…what a buzz…!

Not quite like this but not far removed…

Thanks again


Ah! A fellow Dru Blair fan:



BTW if I cant have the real thing looks like I might have to settle for one of these…




I’ll take 5.


I totaly love russian Ekranoplan design of plane. It is awesome. I found som historic info about that on this wiki page http://wiki.vostokwatches.eu/ekranoplan.html. Nice pictures and videos.