DISCLAIMER: Answers to the following frequently asked questions are not intended to be firm or permanent, as the Airfish is continuously evolving.
When will the Airfish 8 be commercially available?
- Genuinely interested parties are encouraged to write in as the commercial availability will depend on multiple factors such as the jurisdiction, regulation, and certification issues.
How much does the Airfish 8 cost?
- Genuinely interested parties are encouraged to write in as there is no simple answer. Cost will be subject to the finalization of our production plan, and will vary with the jurisdiction, certification cost, volume, and degree of customization.
- There is some speculation that the Airfish 8 is priced at USD500k, as purported by the google search engine. This information is false and was incorrectly interpreted by an article in the South China Morning Post. The actual price is likely to be significantly more.
What is the lead time from contract signing to delivery?
- Genuinely interested parties are encouraged to write in as this is a work in progress.
What are the operating and maintenance costs of the Airfish 8?
- The direct operating cost of the Airfish is expected to be lower than a seaplane or amphibian craft of similar size. Fuel costs are lower owing to the aerodynamic efficiencies from flying under the influence of ground effect, and the lower cost of gasoline per gallon as compared to Jet A or Avgas.
- The single engine version of the Airfish burns 75L of unleaded 95 petrol per hour cruising at 80 knots. The production version of the Airfish will have twin engines and will likely burn more fuel than the single engine version, but not by significantly more.
- Its carbon composite body does not endure typical corrosion problems faced by metallic airframes, while its automotive propulsion system allows for reduced maintenance costs relative to aircraft engines. Importantly, the Airfish is not subject to maintenance requirements administered by the civil aviation authority.
- Crew and insurance costs are still evolving.
What are the licensing and certification requirements? Is it a boat or a plane?
- Wigetworks’ first AF8001 prototype was fully certified by Lloyd’s Register in 2010. In 2012, Lloyd’s suspended its WIG class rules, due to cost-related constraints, http://www.webstore.lr.org/products/81regulations-provisional-rules-for-the-classification-of-wing-in-ground-effect-craft-2008.aspx.
The second and third prototypes AF8PPC1 and PPC2 were surveyed by Lloyd’s Register during construction and received the compliance certificates for structure, but not the full certificate because the WIG rules were suspended prior to. Wigetworks is currently in discussion with several IACS (International Association of Classification Society) parties, as well as the class society of Indonesia, BKI. AF8-001 was flagged by the Singapore Shipping registry in 2010. AF8-PPC2 was registered as a Langkawi yacht. Formal licensing arrangements are still a work in progress within some jurisdictions.
- The Airfish 8 is a boat, as agreed between IMO and ICAO. It flies exclusively under the influence of ground effect at height below one chord from the mean water surface. Any craft flying in such a condition is classified as a Type A Wingin-Ground (WIG) effect craft according to International Maritime Regulations (IMO) MSC.1/CIRC.1592. The design, construction, and operation of Type A WIG craft is governed by MSC.1/CIRC.1592 and other applicable maritime regulations that are imposed on all marine vessels. Type A WIG craft is not subjected to any aviation regulation (Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)), despite its resemblance in term of geometry to airplanes. Its certification will therefore only involve the marine authority and ship classification bodies.
What qualifications are needed to fly the Airfish 8? Does Wigetworks provide pilot training, how long does it take and what is the cost?
- The Airfish is designed for simplicity. As a result of this design, any maritime captain or minimumexperience pilot with 10-20 hours of training provided by Wigetworks will be able to fly the Airfish. We therefore expect reduced training and crew cost.
What type of weather/visibility conditions can the Airfish 8 handle?
- It has a higher operational sea state compared to existing seaplanes/amphibians of similar size.
- The official limit for takeoff and landing is no more than 0.5m wave height (the limit for most seaplanes of comparable size is 0.25m) banking should not take place in more than 15 knots of cross wind. Once airborne, the sea state is of minor consequence.
- Takeoff and landing above 0.5m wave height (up to 1m) is possible, but not recommended for civilian applications as the slamming of waves against the craft would be uncomfortable.
- Repeated landing and takeoff in 1m wave may incur structural damage in the long term.
- The basic civilian configuration of the craft is equipped with basic navigation and communication systems, designed to operate only during the daytime or with minimum visibility of 1km. Customization to include advanced navigation, collision avoidance, and communication systems will enable flight with reduced visibility.
Can I be your distributor/marketing agent/licensed producer?
- Wigetworks is not ready to appoint a distributor, marketing agent, or licensed producer just yet. However, if the aspiring party is willing to align their longterm interests with Wigetworks, we will always be open minded.
Do you have a larger craft/freighter cargo WIG/electric WIG available?
- We ask that interested parties write in with their requirements. Customization is a work in progress. All variations can be arranged, subject to a total payload of 1.2 tonnes.
- A larger 3 tonne payload Airfish is currently work in progress
- An electric WIG can be facilitated with a significantly reduced payload and range, that is, until the electric battery density on offer can be significantly improved.