Feeds

Chinese unleash Caspian Sea Monster

'Wing In Ground' aircraft is go

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

China today confirmed it has developed a "Wing In Ground" (WIG) sea-skimming aircraft, state media reports.

According to Reuters, the Chinese version of the Caspian Sea Monster is capable of flying at 300km/h (180mph) at a mere half metre above the surface while carrying four tonnes of cargo. It relys on the WIG effect effect whereby, put simply, a wing travelling close to the ground is provided with extra lift by the "cushion" of air compressed under it - thus enabling a combination of greater aircraft weight for less power and/or enhanced fuel economy.

Professor Xu Zhengyu, vice-president of the research team at Tongji University in Shanghai, confirmed: "It's as safe as ships, although five or six times faster. And it can carry much more weight than ordinary planes while costing half as much and using half as much fuel."

Technical details of the first WIG vehicle are not noted, but Tongji University now plans to develop a 50-seat WIG by 2013, with" 200 prototypes capable of carrying 200 to 400 tonnes scheduled for 2016 or 2017". The WIG aircraft is "one of three types of aircraft given the green light in the general aviation field by the State Commission of Science Technology and Industry for National Defense", although Xinhua notes "the Civil Aviation Administration of China has yet to confirm aviation regulations at such low altitudes, which may become a problem".

That China has developed a WIG aircraft will come as no surprise to regular Reg readers. Last September, we spotted this strange beast at Qingdao naval base while investigating Russian ekranoplan projects:

The Chinese Sea Monster at Qingdao

Whether China can succeed where Russia failed remains to be seen. As we noted last year, the latter's WIG ambitions were ultimately thwarted because the "technical difficulties of developing a successful example often in the past outweighed the potential benefits of the technology". ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.