Meteor: Soviet hydrofoil jet

Meteor S3 11-2 “Yason”. Vasilyevsky island (St. Petersburg)

On May 19, 1959, the project was approved. In October, the first experimental hydrofoil vessel Meteor was launched, sea trials of which took place from November 1, 1959, to November 17, 1959. During sea trials, the first Meteor, built at the Krasnoye Sormovo plant, traveled from Gorky to Feodosia and was left there for the winter.

Meteor-209 S-3 629

In the spring of May 9, 1960, the first Meteor set out on its way back from Feodosia and, on May 14, 1960, arrived in Gorky. In June 1960, the Meteor was presented to N. S. Khrushchev.

Meteor-171. Gulf of Finland

The aircraft designer A. N. Tupolev, who was present simultaneously, was impressed by the Meteor and asked R. E. Alekseev to manage the ship jointly.

Meteor S3 10-68. English Embankment

Next was “Meteor-2”. The ship became part of the Volga United Shipping Company of the MRF of the RSFSR. One of its captains was the famous pilot Hero of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Devyatayev, who, during the Great Patriotic War, could escape from captivity by stealing an enemy bomber.

Meteor-237 S3-03-44. Neva river

A. M. Gorky in Tatarstan. Serial production of “Meteors” was launched at the Zelenodolsk shipbuilding plant. More than 400 ships of this series were built from 1961 to 1999, and two units in 2006.

Meteor-237 S3-03-44. Palace Embankment (Winter palace)

By 2007, the line for producing “Meteors” at the plant was dismantled, and cavern-planning motor ships of the new A45-1 project were laid down.

Interior seats in the stern

In the 2010s, several Meteors were modernized at the manufacturing plant and in St. Petersburg. However, by now, most of the units of the series have undergone mass decommissioning. Their places of operation, instead of being almost ubiquitous on large rivers and lakes, have become extremely limited.

M-417 engine

Production: Krasnoye Sormovo (USSR)

Year of production: 1959-2007

Capacity: 120 persons in 3 big saloons + 3 members of crew

Power: 2 × 1000 HP

Max speed: 77 km/h

Range: 600 km

Weight: 4725 kg

Krasnoye Sormovo Shipyard No. 112 named after Andrei Zhdanov is one of the oldest shipbuilding factories in Russia, located in the Sormovsky City District of Nizhny Novgorod (formerly called Gorky).

The shipyard was established in 1849 by companies Nizhny Novgorod Machine Factory (Нижегородская машинная фабрика) and Volga Steam Navigation (Волжское пароходство). It was originally called the Nizhny Novgorod Machine Factory. In 1851, the factory began the construction of solid metal steamers. Three years later, it developed the production of screw schooners. In 1858, the Nizhny Novgorod Machine Factory produced the first Russian steam dredger. In 1870, the first Russian open hearth furnace was built at the yard, followed by a two-decked steamship Perevorot just a year later. In 1913, it produced a dry bulk cargo ship Danilikha. The factory built 489 ships between 1849 and 1918. It also produced steam engines, carriages, steam locomotives, tramcars, bridges, diesel engines, cannons, pontoons, and projectiles.

Read more: History of shipbuilding with Oliver Davis ...