Posted By RichC on July 12, 2007
What’s a WIG one might ask? Well it a “Wing-In-Ground” flying boat sort of aircraft that is being developed to skim a few feet above the surface of water in China. The aircraft mention in a MSNBC Technology and Science article is said to be as safe as ships yet five or six times as fast. In its current design, the WIG aircraft can hit speeds of 180 mph, carry 4 tons and travel from a few inches to several feet using ground effect (or sea effect) that is present as an airfoil (wing) passes above a level surface.
Advocates point out that a plane of this design will cost half as much as one designed for standard flying and also use only half as much fuel. The “wing-in-ground effect” design plane could see use in military and board control according to the article and the Tongji University has plans to develop a 50-seat version of the WIG by 2013 as well as prototypes capable of hauling cargo up to 400 tons by 2016 or 2017.