WIG (Wing In Groundeffect) without the need for large engine. My proposal. Too crazy ??


Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Jun 8, 2016
Near Antwerp, Belgium
I am thinking a lot about WIG lately. And i noticed that a commercial WIG is still not going to happen. One of the reason is the need for a large engine to generate enough thrust to get the WIG out of the water. Once in the air it needs less power to stay in the air in ground effect. But it NEEDS that huge engine to get in the air. that was the thinking the previous decades.

Now ... i came with the following (crazy) idea. Why not make that it does not need to get out of the water?

I had two possible ideas to do this.
1) Have a airstrip that ends at the shore. The WIG takes off on wheels (which demands less power than a water take off). The WIG is allready airborne when it crosses the shore and stays airborne till it reaches its destination and lands on sea. It simply floats on the little power to the shore. It gets pulled onto the shore. Passengers get out. New ones get it. Taxi to end of airstrip and ... we do it again.
2) A catapult or rail system. This might be placed on land near the shore or in the sea/lake/river just above the water. It is a powered devise that launches the WIG to the speed it needs to get airborne. I guess this kind of system doesn't need to be rocket-science. Use a similar system as used in some rollercoasters for instance.

  • the need for a extra installation or extra land at each harbor it visits.
  • the WIG needs a less big engine. Which makes it lighter. Wing loading might be a lot less. Take off speed should be less too. That might make that the needed length of the airstrip of rail might be not that long at all.
  • Also ... noise reduction. No more need for a huge engine to go to full power near a shore. Just that small engine that keeps the WIG in the air. The old Wolga-2 of Russia was notorious for being loud. That problem would have been solved too.
  • Smaller engine should be also cheaper in fuel consumption.
  • "And what if something happens and the WIG needs to land on sea halfway its yourney?" Easy, it can land. My proposal would still be sea-worthy. It needs to be for the landing in sea close to the shore/harbor. It can call for help once landed in water in cause of emergency. I guess that is easier solved than a standard airplane that gets into trouble halfway over a sea.