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HOME INTRODUCTION
Introduction to wing in ground effect crafts
Like so 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 solved.
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.
Ekranoplan
Rev. delta WIG-craft