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An innovative Russian '˜flying vehicle', developed for years by the USSR without American knowledge, was the subject of a very interesting talk by Mr Brian Cook, of Duns, to Berwick Probus Club.
No kit was made for the revolutionary machine, designed to fly at a low altitude, but Mr Cook, a brilliant model-maker bought some wood and studied pictures and books, which he showed to the club members.
He compared its size to another model, a British Avro Lancaster.
He explained the amount of experimental work the Russians put into it, the first being the jet engine powered SM2. It was one of a series of WIGs, of which the Russians were justly proud.
By the time the SM6 was built it had a long, boat-shaped hull, a propellor had been fitted, and the Caspian Sea monsters had 10 turbo jets. Some weighed 566 tonnes.
The vehicle was equipped to carry troops and materials.
One is now preserved in the Moscow Naval Museum.
The last of the series was eventually abandoned, but it would have been bigger than its predecessors and was designed for use as a hospital ship.
Many different types of WIGs were produced.
During question time Mr Cook told members about the construction of the Pelican by the United States, which is likely to be the biggest ever aircraft. It is due to be in production by 2020.