Duck! It's A Low-Flying Gigaplane

from the but-can-you-fish-from-it? dept

It seems that Boeing is working on a project to build the world's largest plane with a wing span of almost 600 feet. That's not the most interesting part, though. The plane is being designed to fly over water at a constant altitude of 20 feet. Not 20,000, but 20. Two-zero. Apparently, it will make use of the "ground effect" that is caused by a low flying plane creating pressure which helps to push the plane, decreasing the drag, and giving it much better mileage.
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  • identicon
    dorpus, 16 Dec 2002 @ 1:57am

    Are they on crack or what?

    What happens when a big wave comes along?

    A 40-foot rogue wave can appear in the calmest of seas. It's caused by the resonance effect of smaller waves combining to form a bigger wave. Blub blub blub, there goes a thousand soldiers and ten tanks.



    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      MarcWolfe, 16 Dec 2002 @ 3:19am

      Re: Are they on crack or what?

      I'd be more concerned about FOD. Wouldn't the ground effect act on the rogue wave and maintain altitude?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        dorpus, 16 Dec 2002 @ 11:09am

        Re: Are they on crack or what?

        Rogue waves are known to come zooming in at incredibly fast speeds (80 mph), appearing out of nowhere. A fisherman may or may not witness one in his career.

        Another issue would be bird strikes. Will the Pelican hit a pelican and turn the passengers into pelican food?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      2Lazy2Register, 16 Dec 2002 @ 7:05am

      Re: Are they on crack or what?

      A 600 foot wingspan would give good ground effect much higher than 20 feet, but at decreased efficiency. Also, I would think they could use a predictive "ground following" radar ala the F-111 to avoid whacking into a good sized wave.

      Found this on the web:
      As a rule of thumb, Ground Effect is accepted as being up to 1 1/2 times wing span, expressed as height above surface. However, at heights greater than half the chord length the craft tends to be less efficient.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2002 @ 3:55am

    No Subject Given

    sounds like what the russians did 10 or 20 years ago. they had a huge ground effect (sea)plane that could carry a tank.it was tested in the caspian sea but i think they ran out of money. i wonder if boeing "appropriated" their technology....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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