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Boeing considers giant ocean skimmer plane

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posted on Sep, 18 2002 @ 09:39 AM
A concept for a colossal cargo aircraft designed to skim a few metres above the surface of the ocean has been revealed by researchers at the aerospace company Boeing.

The concept aeroplane, called the Pelican Ultra Large Transport Aircraft (ULTRA), would exploit an aerodynamic phenomenon known as the "wing-in-ground effect" to glide just six metres above the waves.

Riding on top of a cushion of air, the airplane would experience 70 per cent less drag than a normal plane and could therefore travel further using the same amount of fuel.

The Pelican ULTRA would land on 38 double-wheeled landing gears. Measuring 152 metres from nose to tail and with a wingspan of 109 metres, the Pelican ULTRA would be the largest plane to ever fly - if it is built. The world's largest existing plane, the Russian Antonov 225, is 84 metres long. The Pelican ULTRA is designed to carry 1400 tonnes of cargo over a distance of 16,000 kilometres in one journey.

posted on Nov, 13 2002 @ 02:36 AM
Ok then now it is common knowlage about the
ground effect phenominan where an aircraft flying within
about one wingspan of the ground experiances a floating sensation and requires less power
to keep flying, this happens with helicopters also however
drag is not reduced greatly and i dont think an aircraft of any size
could be made to use it with enough effiency to revoloutionise the airways.
No personal slant to the poster i am just pointing out that it is realy a nice idea that just wouldnt realy work
Also at such a low altitude the aircraft will be a hell of a lot slower and require more power to get through the air

posted on Dec, 15 2002 @ 10:34 AM

Originally posted by dellarbi dont think an aircraft of any size could be made to use it with enough effiency to revoloutionise the airways.

This is definitely not a new technology or idea. The Soviets designed, built, *and flew* these kind of airplanes forty years ago; they were called "Ekranoplans".

Do a quick web search on "ekranoplan" and you'll find a wealth of information on them.

Everything old is new again...


posted on Dec, 15 2002 @ 03:05 PM
The good old Ekranoplans.

AMerica had a heart attack when spy plain/sat's first saw that thing!

posted on Dec, 15 2002 @ 11:26 PM
See these pages for further information of WIGs (Wing In Ground):

Some interesting capabilities: _107.htm

Some history:

[Edited on 2002-12-16 by MakodFilu]

posted on Dec, 22 2002 @ 08:41 AM
I found interesting the 'stealth' capabilities of Ekranoplans:

a) Difficultness to intercept from the air, because of radar ground effect.
b) Difficultness to intercept from the sea, cause Sea skimming missiles are just too slow.
c) All sea mines are defeated and submarines can't attack those as well.

...and the armed Ekranoplan is just a so great idea:

Imagine an Ekranoplan with Aegis-like capability, high range cruise missiles, ASW capability, combining Sonar, MAD and torpedoes (the ability to reach quickly last submarine position is nice too).

...and if a new *real stealthy* plane is constructed, that capabilities, jointly with the fuel economy provided by ekranoplans, would make these great 'naval' vessels.

Back to the topic: I think the Pelican is the wisest move Boeing has made to counter EADS Airbus A380 SuperJumbo.

[Edited on 2002-12-22 by MakodFilu]

posted on Dec, 22 2002 @ 10:31 PM
Could a modified b2 bomber be turned into a stealth WIG plane? Just tilt the wing tips down ala the bird of prey, add some internal criuse missle launchers on the top of the craft, modifie a couple bombays to carry troops, landing craft, torpedoes,sonar beacons, etc., maybe one of those stealth URAV's the US is developing(CRV Dragonfly) for recon, and this is a scary weapon!

posted on Dec, 23 2002 @ 08:21 AM
One thing to note: B2 can't land on sea...

posted on Dec, 23 2002 @ 10:54 AM
Neither is the Pelican ULTRA. And they could try a design that was tried by the navy replaceing the wheels w/large water skis so a plane wouldn't need an aircraft carrier. They tried it on a high speed fighter and it didn't work because the high speeds cause the plane to oscillate beyond control, but a B2 WIG might be able to take off at low enough speeds for this idea to work, so it could land and take off on sea. If that didn't work it would take off and land on land like the Pelican would.

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