Sea Plane With A Difference . . .

Randy V

Administrator
#2
Very interesting Robert!
I would have to think that it would be restricted to operating only over relatively calm water as it wuold start running out of ground effect at roughly half of its wingspan with a maximum altitude of its wingspan. It would have to be going very fast to achieve that altitude though and it would stall easily at that height.
 

Robert S.

Gold Supporter
#5
Randy and Ian,

I have more questions. It's not clear if this device is limited to skimming, or can it fly? Not long after the start of the film, they pull-up and make a hard left turn. I would have expected that turn to cause a minimal or more drop in altitude, but there was no noticeable drop. They did not say how many passengers, if any, they were carrying while filming. They never showed it above several feet high along the calm water. The name Widgetworks makes me nervous.

If ya can't fly the thing from Balboa Island to Catalina Island with 8-10 drunk passengers, then what fun would it really be. :laugh:
 

Randy V

Administrator
#6
Hi Robert,

It does fly, but only on a boundary layer of compressed air called Ground Effect. If it should somehow manage to climb out of ground effect without stalling, it would then be a full on seaplane rather than a boat that thinks it’s a plane...

All aircraft experience ground effect. It is most notable upon landing. If you watch aircraft from the side of the runway, you’ll see the angle of approach really flattens out as the aircraft gets close yo the runway. It is here where the pilot reduces power to an idle (or close) and then flairs the aircraft to land on it’s landing gear at the same time the aircraft stops flying (stalls)...
So when you see that aircraft’s approach flatten out - that is generally when they enter ground effect...
 

Robert S.

Gold Supporter
#7
Thank you Randy for sharing your knowledge !
I located some specs. on the AirFish8.
It appears to say that it can cruise at a height of 7mm, 21'.
Would that altitude still be considered as riding the ground effect ?
Thanks, Robert

 

Randy V

Administrator
#9
Thank you Randy for sharing your knowledge !
I located some specs. on the AirFish8.
It appears to say that it can cruise at a height of 7mm, 21'.
Would that altitude still be considered as riding the ground effect ?
Thanks, Robert

Yep - with the wingspan of 15m, I would expect that 7m would be a safe altitude while remaining in ground effect..
 
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