They cost as much or more than a conventional aircraft and they couldn't fly over weather. Landing and getting the payload on shore was also a problem. Nobody ever got a formula and mission for the concept that made sense.
Now, if you wanted a fun toy and the FAA considered a little one a boat, you might have something, but the market is small.
Who thinks just looking cool to eight year-olds, is not a justification for production.
It's a very intriguing concept with (unfortunately) limited applications. I kind of hope somebody finds a profitable way to use these things because I think they'd be a blast to fly. Heck, they might replace cruise ships for some routes.
I once took the "CAT", a catamaran ferry boat, from Bar Harbor to Yarmouth at 50 knots. I had a grin on my face the whole time. Imagine doing it at fifty feet and 150 knots.
I think the Russkies gave ekranoplans a go for both amphibious assault and as spear-chuckers for antiship missiles since they had a better chance of getting "below the radar" than conventional aircraft.
Not half as crazy as some of the stuff Ivan's designed and built, but...
It does reduce drag to fly in ground effect. I could see this as more of a boat that flies just above the surface but the wings would make docking difficult. With modern flight controls it would be less fatiguing than Ivan's stuff was.
All said, it seems like there are two disadvantages for every advantage.
That looks like a fun machine. My immediate thought is that it'd be a natural fit for moderate distance commutes over water, being much faster than commuter ferry boats. In places like Seattle and San Francisco where well-heeled commuters might be willing to pay a premium for fast service it could be a real winner.
I can also see a regular ferry service from south Florida over to the Bahamas, or even to Cuba. There might be some Great Lakes routes that would make sense. Anyplace the waters are relatively calm and flat I think there's potential.
There was a program on satellite TV on that thing, it's going to be the transport from land to some island based casino/resort in Asia. Reduces long boat ride to 20 minutes or so. They also sold their coast guard on it's ability to rapidly deploy oil spill control stuff.
From another episode, wonder if the Brits got their reimagined cargo toting Zeppelin beyond the prototype stage? Supposed to be the way to get heavy loads into remote/hard to access areas where landing anything but helos/Osprey can land.
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could
be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.