Feeds

Chinese unleash Caspian Sea Monster

'Wing In Ground' aircraft is go

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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". ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P
Probe will be just 10km from Space Duck in October
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
ANU boffins demo 'tractor beam' in water
The current state of the art, apparently
China to test recoverable moon orbiter
I'll have some rocks and a moon cheese pizza please, home delivery
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.