It's a boat? It's a plane? No, it's a 'seaglider.' And it goes fast...really fast

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rv7charlie

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You mean like this? Apparently, only the Chunnel killed them.

Bypassing a/c certification with near- commuter a/c speed & the ability to dock near city centers does sound like a good idea. The Russians have operated lower tech versions for decades.
 

Aesquire

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There is an IC sea skimmer already trying to create a market for over water 100 mph+ commuter/tourist/ or Mini Ekranoplan fans. I suppose you could carry a squad that didn't mind wading ashore if you needed a really noisy miniature amphibious assault machine. ( one of the "brochure uses" the Soviets desired, but scaled for tanks and Companies )


The real, low flying, version seems to be ( From videos ) marketed to wealthy port city customers, Madripior or other high population density cities where driving to the airport around the bay the long way is tedious and possibly fraught with danger. ( From pirates, super villain fights, or traffic ) Environmental research, dropping scuba divers on the reef, and VIP transport are likely markets.

There's a video where they give the Mayor & officials a ride, obviously a sales demo, and the waves are rough enough to discomfort the passengers on take off. ( scale really applies/matters with boats and seaplanes )

I'm betting that the Electric Angle is for Government Funding, and will skip comments on that aspect, just assume a rant on physics, rare earth elements, and Mad Max movies. ;)
 

Sockmonkey

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The fact that it's using a conventional-looking wing instead of the Lippisch configuration is the second thing that makes me smell BS right after the "electric" tagline.
 

Victor Bravo

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Danger Will Robinson... Credibility Alert...

To all vaporware artists, scammers, wanna-bees, posers, and infomercial hustlers:

You do not attempt to masquerade as any sort of credible aircraft developer, and mis-spell the name of the original inventor. Their web page mentions Dr. Alexandria Lippisch. It's possible that perhaps the good doctor had a transgender or cross-dressing fetish, and that he wanted to be remembered as Alexandria.

But it's also possible that perhaps these bozos just didn't take the time to study or even read Dr. Lippisch's work, or see any of the !(#*$ing FREE videos available on youtube with him teaching aerodynamics.

From this page: WIG TECHNOLOGY | Wigetworks :

Ground effect is exploited by large bodied birds such as the Albatross to conserve energy in flight. Ground effect has also had a significant contribution to the history of human flight – the first powered flight by the Wright brothers was entirely in ground effect. This effect was also employed during the Second World War, when bombers low on fuel, were able to return safely to their bases by flying close to the ground.

Two main schools of R&D in Wing-in-Ground Effect (WIG) crafts originated from the former Soviet Union and Germany. The former’s school is known as the pioneer of Erkranoplans and the German school is named after a Dr Alexandria Lippisch, inventor of the forward Delta wing design for Messerschmitt rocket powered fighter aircrafts, i.e Me 163.

Rhein-Flugzeugbau GmbH (RFB) pioneered the German concept in Germany in the 1960s. Dr. Alexandria M. Lippisch was then the principal engineer and designer of RFB. Together with Mr. Hanno Fischer, they championed the design and construction of several well-known WIG crafts such as the X-112, X-113 and X-114 for the German defence ministry.

Subsequently, Mr Hanno Fischer and his associate Mr Klaus Matjasic designed and built the Airfish family of WIGs, Airfish 1, Airfish 2, and Airfish 3 from the 1970s to the 1980s, then built the Airfish 8-001 in 1998 to 2000. These are the predecessor of the Airfish 8, a craft that is of our current focus.
 
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dog

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Martin W

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Here is the show stopper for this type of craft ..... it has the potential to accidentally "take off" if lightly loaded or a strong gust.

It goes nose-up .... catches huge air under the huge wing .... straight up for 50 feet ... then straight down and you die or drown.

Plus not relaxing or enjoyable to operate .... continuous control movements to keep it just above the water yet not too high ...... no different than trying to fly a Cessna cross country at 4 feet off the ground ... who would want to ....??

.
 

Derswede

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Used the Hover out of Ramsgate going to/from France quite a few times when I was in Europe. Asked one of the captains if he ever got flight time, he said one time he hit a big wave and swore that they got airborne for a few seconds. With that mass, I would not want to try it. The cap't said the engine mounts let the turbines wiggle a bit, that scared him...he said he imagined one of those things breaking loose....!

Derswede
 

Jay Kempf

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Here is the show stopper for this type of craft ..... it has the potential to accidentally "take off" if lightly loaded or a strong gust.

It goes nose-up .... catches huge air under the huge wing .... straight up for 50 feet ... then straight down and you die or drown.

Plus not relaxing or enjoyable to operate .... continuous control movements to keep it just above the water yet not too high ...... no different than trying to fly a Cessna cross country at 4 feet off the ground ... who would want to ....??

.
One log hits the bottom of that wing strut under the WL and you ain't going to 50'. Maybe -50'...
 

Sockmonkey

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Here is the show stopper for this type of craft ..... it has the potential to accidentally "take off" if lightly loaded or a strong gust.

It goes nose-up .... catches huge air under the huge wing .... straight up for 50 feet ... then straight down and you die or drown.

Plus not relaxing or enjoyable to operate .... continuous control movements to keep it just above the water yet not too high ...... no different than trying to fly a Cessna cross country at 4 feet off the ground ... who would want to ....??

.
A properly made WIGE will be self-stabilizing like a properly made airplane is. Depending on the exact type, some can handle maneuvers like that and do it on purpose to hop over obstructions, or even fly out of ground effect. Having that ability changes how you have to register it though.
 

Aesquire

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Danger Will Robinson... Credibility Alert...
Maybe the Good Herr Docktor had secrets not relevant to this thread? ;)

Seriously, I'm not trying to sell you on Airfish. But they do have 3 things going for them that seem to be lacking in the CNN imaginary space filler.

They've at least heard of Lippisch, even if a proof reader should have caught the name mistake.
The Airfish models have hydrodynamic hulls, if not perfect.
They have actual flying examples humans have actually flown.

The CNN Electric Vehicle hype thing apparently has a hull ( From first glance, I admit, I didn't research it ) that is less like!y to get airborne than my aluminum canoe. I'd bet the reason for 8 motors has less to do with engineering and more because the Spruce Goose has 8 P&W corncobs. And if it was a legitimate seaplane, the high AR wing makes sense, but for Ekranoplan style sea skimming?

I'm surprised they didn't add solar panels to check another box in the "scam ignorant folk who watch this stuff" list of buzzwords. But I freely admit to bias, and could be wrong. I've been dismissively skeptical before about planes that seemed bait for suckers.
 

Starjumper7

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The fact that it's using a conventional-looking wing instead of the Lippisch configuration is the second thing that makes me smell BS right after the "electric" tagline.
The Lippisch style is only needed for stability in low aspect ratio designs, it does not apply to high aspect ratios.
 

Aesquire

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More span may make the "ground cushion" "taller" and I can see getting over the waves as a Good Thing, but then why are all the Real Functional ground skimmers low AR?

It may be an attempt to solve the problem the Lum and other Soviet era Ekranoplans have with stability out of ground effect?

The Myth?Legend/Story on those is one of typical Authoritarian Bureaucratic Idiocy. The manufacturer had stability problems, so asked for an autopilot to make flying out of ground effect, over low rolling hills and forests, practical. Otherwise, since many were built in an inland sea with no easy water access to the rest of the planet, they had very expensive toys they couldn't use. However the Aviation Department Bureaucrats refused, since it's against the rules to fly on autopilot below a specified altitude. I have no idea if this is apocryphal or Sarcastically True.
 

Starjumper7

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Then why are all the Real Functional ground skimmers low AR?
Probably for ease of docking and all around compactness. It also makes it more like boat than an airplane. Overall compactness has a lot of benefits for all kinds of things.

It may be an attempt to solve the problem the Lum and other Soviet era Ekranoplans have with stability out of ground effect?
The instability is caused by center of lift shifting fore and aft between in and out of ground effect. The strength of the instability is dependent on the chord length, so when you have a narrow chord wing and a long tail arm it makes it easy to handle, just like any high AR airplane when it goes into and out of ground effect.
 

Starjumper7

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The CNN Electric Vehicle hype thing apparently has a hull ( From first glance, I admit, I didn't research it ) that is less like!y to get airborne than my aluminum canoe.
Take a look at the video and notice the hydrofoil in back.
 
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Sockmonkey

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Probably for ease of docking and all around compactness. It also makes it more like boat than an airplane. Overall compactness has a lot of benefits for all kinds of things.

The instability is caused by center of lift shifting fore and aft between in and out of ground effect. The strength of the instability is dependent on the chord length, so when you have a narrow chord wing and a long tail arm it makes it easy to handle, just like any high AR airplane when it goes into and out of ground effect.
Making it more airplane-like may have those functional benefits, but if it becomes what is essentially a low-flying plane, there isn't much reason to make it a WIGE in the first place.
 

rv7charlie

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Take a deep dive into the transport category aircraft certification rules, add a deep dive into xport category seaplane cert rules, and get back to us.
;-)
 
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