It was very innovative and a low tech way to counter western technology advances during the cold war but it was typical Russian POS. If the Soviet Union had put a little more effort into quality control things would be different. The whole military was built on a shell that looked mighty from the outside but was weak on the inside. Their tanks and APCs were rolling death traps even before going into battle.
The designers behind the project tried to spin off the technology into smaller civilian models a few years ago. James May of Top Gear went out there and flew one during one of his specials. They are about the same size and carrying capacity of a Mini-Van. The idea was you can use them to cross stretches of water, frozen or not. Here on the great lakes they could use them to save all the assholes who get stuck on the ice during Ice fishing season.