Return of the WIG: Airfish strives for breakthrough
Date Posted: 18-Apr-2019
Author: Kelvin Wong, Singapore
Publication: Jane’s International Defence Review
Singapore’s Wigetworks is pushing the envelope of wing-in-ground effect technology with its Airfish 8 prototype crafts, and aims to be the first to bring these sea-skimming marine vehicles into mass production for commercial and military applications. Kelvin Wong reports
The wing-in-ground (WIG) effect concept has been long recognised as a potential means of achieving efficient high-speed marine transportation, although WIG platforms have yet to be successfully introduced to the market despite decades of research and development (R&D) work by commercial and defence developers around the world.
A WIG craft is designed specifically to operate within the ground effect generated by its wings to take advantage of increased aerodynamic lift and induced drag that occurs when flying within this zone, and can therefore operate at much higher speeds than displacement or planing vessels and more efficiently than conventional aircraft. Another distinct advantage of a WIG craft is its ability to be launched and recovered from the sea surface in general conditions that would have precluded the operation of seaplanes.
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For full article, please see June 2019 issue of Jane’s International Review.