History hasn’t been especially kind to the Soviet Union, but they came up with a lot of great things in their time. Tetris is just one example, as is a vaccine for anthrax. Another, slightly less useful but just as cool invention was the Russian rocket ship, which were made for both passengers and the military.
They may have travelled the waterways rather than outer-space, but the hyperfoils, as they called, were firmly etched into the Space Age. Passenger ships were named things like Meteor and Raketa, but the best name was reserved for a military version, which US intelligence dubbed the Caspian Sea Monster.
The inventor of the ships, Rostislav Evgenievich Alexeyev, pioneered the practice of building watercraft with submerged underwater wings, which helped the ships travel faster, and gave them an otherworldly appearance.
Though the ships were swift, they couldn’t outpace the economic failure of the Soviet Union. Production of the hydrofoils eventually halted, and the vessels were decommissioned. Some live on, running the rivers of Vietnam or enjoying second-lives as luxury yachts, while others have found a second life on land, such as the one that now functioins as a bar in a Ukraine housing estate (bottom picture).
Keep an eye out on Buy, Swap and Sell for a bargain, or check out more about their history over on Dark Roasted Blend.