Experimental studies of the ablative acceleration of thin foils as carried out on the “Mishen” device (Nd laser, λ = 1·06μm, 3 nsec pulses) are reported. The plasma corona in the range of power densities 1013–1014 W/cm2 is shown to absorb 80–90% of the laser beam energy, the classical collisional absorption mechanism being the main one. Jet-like and filamentary structures are observed in the laser-plasma interaction; however, the main plasma parameters are found to be independent of the presence (or absence) of such structures. The measured hydrodynamic efficiency of stable ablative acceleration in plane geometry is ≲5%. The production of high-speed cumulative jets with irradiated thin-wall hollow conical targets is reported as an example of a non-traditional ablative acceleration geometry.