Marine technology has advanced dramatically since the days when the only option for sailing was a wooden vessel constructed by hand. Many different types of ships have been developed over the years. Some were practical while others were just novelties. Russia was actually a leader for some time in the development of new and exotic watercraft. Part of this was to help develop the naval capabilities of the country to compete with places like the United States. Another part was practical since there are so many massive waterways stretching throughout Russia and the surrounding area.
Russia developed a boat that used hydrofoil technology to cruise on the water. Hydrofoils are small wings with pods on the bottom that are mounted on the underside of boats. If the boat picks up enough speed, then the hydrofoils will lift the hull up and out of the water. This reduces drag allowing the boat to achieve speeds in excess of 90 miles per hour. The boats that Russia made were nicknamed “raketas” or rockets in English. The vessels looked like long, sleek spaceships. They were streamlined in every way possible to make them aerodynamic. Some of the ships were even equipped with specialized turbine engines to improve top speeds.
The hydrofoil ships were used to transport Russian citizens around the local waterways. Around 300 of the craft were produced. They fell out of favor sometime in the late 1980s. The vessels were removed from the waterways and put in large storage yards near the water. You can still find many of these hydrofoil crafts sitting idly in random scrap yards.