Copyright © 2015 by B. Kohler
All rights reserved
Introduction to wing in ground effect crafts
often nature shows us the way how to use the ground effect. Water birds
like the Pelican and the Albatross use the ground effect. The Albatross
skims almost effortless for hours very low over the water.
The ground effect was used for the first time by the DO X Atlantic
crossings in the 30this. Because of the heavy fuel load of the craft
she could not fly but only skim in the ground effect. After some hours
sufficient fuel was burnt to sustain the machine in normal flight.
The first ground effect craft was designed by the Fin Karrio. He used a
sort of sled with the engine and prop in the front. Behind the prop
movable small wings where mounded. In this way lift was generated. By
mounting small sledges far aft the tendency to flip over backwards was
Many different designs emerged in the last decades. The biggest where
built in Russia in the late sixties. Who dit not hear from the Caspian
sea monsters. These where Ekranoplans from over 500 tons skimming over
the water with 400 miles per hour. All of them where used by the navy.
Only small design changes are necessary to use them as passenger
ferries, as freighters, or the smaller ones as water taxis, patrol
crafts or as rescue crafts.
Right now no wing in ground effect craft is in production. One of the
reasons is the unclear regulation situation. Every country has,
if at all, different guidelines for these crafts. This makes
development a high risk adventure for any company.
Rev. delta WIG-craft