What is a Wingship?

Wing-in-ground effect (WIG) sounds complicated but is really very simple; it is the interaction of airflow between a surface and something flying close to it, because when a wing flies close to a surface the airflow gets squashed. This causes an increase in the lift generated and a decrease in the drag - so it becomes much more efficient.

A wingship, technically referred to as a Wing in Ground Effect craft (WIG) or Wing is Surface Effect craft (WISE), is simply a craft that rides on this effect; It's weight can be much greater yet it's power requirement is much less than if it were trying to fly in free air. If this is sounding a bit complicated, then just think of it as the same thing as skimming a playing card across a table - it tends to glide on forever. 

Hw2 0 Am Steg mit Propeller Stop
Hw2 0 Am Steg mit Propeller Stop

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HW 20 Landunsgsteg Müller Hw1 7
HW 20 Landunsgsteg Müller Hw1 7

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Flugbild schräg vor Landungssteg 5Okt.09
Flugbild schräg vor Landungssteg 5Okt.09

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Hw2 0 Am Steg mit Propeller Stop
Hw2 0 Am Steg mit Propeller Stop

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Why Travel by Wingship?

 

A wingship (a marine vessel) travels just above the surface at speeds around 100 knots, and can carry more payload than an airplane, for less fuel than an airplane, resulting in much lower operational costs. Without surface contact, turbulence is eliminated and the ride is smooth and comfortable eliminating motion sickness. There is also no wake or wash of a boat! Wingships are a new class of surface vehicle that is faster and more comfortable than a boat but much more economical than an aircraft. Wingships are classified both domestically and internationally as marine vessels, even though it operates above the surface because it's height from the surface is governed by the extra lift from ground effect, which is lost if the wingship rises to high.

This technology transforms a seaway into a freeway, without the cost of building the road, and in places where roads may not be possible. with the benefits:

  • Very fast.

  • Smooth comfortable to travel on.

  • Very energy efficient.

  • Environmentally compatible with no wake or wash to damage it or upset other water users.

  • Immune to sea currents.

  • Lower capital & operating cost than an equivalent aircraft.

Civil applications include inter-island passenger ferry, luxury resort taxi service luxury cruising craft, mobile medical facility, freight transportation.

The Wingship Advantage 

In many respects the wingships sit between conventional boat and aircraft. The wingship is a marine surface vessel and is classified as one, but the development and adoption
of it serves as an illustration of how the fast ferry business is evolving and beginning to blend together the values of both the marine and aviation industry. Since wingships do not contact the water surface in normal cruise mode, the ride is very comfortable with no motions sickness. The high cruise speed also offers transit times comparable to traditional air carriers.

Click the photo for a video explaining wingships
Wingship Explanation Video