Wing-in-Ground effect aircraft is one that manages level flight near the surface of the Earth, making use of the aerodynamic interaction between the wings and the surface known as take advantage ground effect.
Ground effect is a phenomenon that relates to the airflow around a wing when it flies in close proximity to a surface, wherein the presence of the surface distorts the downwash from the wing and inhibits the formation of vortices. This effect dramatically increases the lift and reduces the drag compared to that attainable by a wing in conventional flight.
The WIG crafts can transport heavy payloads at relatively high speeds, compared to ships. Since the 1960’s, There have been many experiments on Wing in Ground Effect crafts and the Ekranoplan. While some believe that it will bring a new era of high speed marine transportation, others believe it holds less promise than the hovercraft.
This paper presents a Wing-In-Ground effect craft design as an alternative to the current ships, a means of faster and safer transportation over water. An initial design is presented for a rigid airship that has the capacity for 16,000 lbs of payload and 2 crew members with 497 miles of range.
Source: San Jose State University
Author: Nita B Shah