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Thread: Have you ever heard of an Ekranoplan, aka the Caspean Sea Monster?

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    Have you ever heard of an Ekranoplan, aka the Caspean Sea Monster?

    Here is a bit of odd technology that may still eventually make a splash:



    What I found really interesting was the comment right at the end of the video, where Boeing Aircraft was making proposals in post 2000 America to make large transports based on the fuel efficency and low radar exposure of over ocean ground effect flight.

    In essence, you get twice the lift for half the fuel, flying at 20 meters above water, using a ground effect wing.

    So, you can make a ship sized/cargo weight transport, which moves at 300-400 mph.

    So, does this technology have a future?

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    Dr. Felix Birdbiter's Avatar
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    No.

    I think the future in ocean travel is a return to sail power. With the new technology for wings and computerized sail setting some of these boats can now hit over 60 kts or four times the average speed and carry almost the same amount of freight as container ships today
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    I'm going to re-evaluate my comment above after actually looking at the video.

    I think for a military use it has great potential. However, I do question its viability in heavy and rough seas. How easily will it be to stay 60 feet about the waves when they are building to 30 or 40 feet as they do in a storm.

    It would certainly be interesting to see this developed further.
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    I'll have to go back to the vid, because my obsolete Netbook can't play it. Not enough memory or CPU capacity.

    That said though...although I'm not a pilot, I've read a lot about flying. And of course I've got some experience operating ground-based vehicles and arrays.

    Everything I've read, analyzing air disasters or near-disasters...tell me, safety, in flying, lay in speed and altitude. In high-altitude flight at designed speeds, there's plenty of leeway. Engine or operating problems that need corrective measures - the altitude and speed give essential time to react. There's three dimensions of escape routes for any sudden issue...assuming it's seen and identified first, of course.

    The two critically-dangerous periods are, takeoff and landing.

    Flying close to the ground, or the water, reduces the escape-route choices to just two...left or right. Sudden climbing at sea level, could result in a flight stall. Ditching the plane on the water's surface at cruising speed, would probably rip it to pieces. And the danger of collision with ships or flotsam - such as, say, an iceberg.

    I'm not sure the fuel savings would be enough to justify an entirely-different, far-lower level of safety.

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