Wing-in-Ground-Effect Vehicle (GEV) – an aircraft that sails or, if you like, a boat that flies – was never widely adopted because of various concerns (like, keeping it at an effective altitude of max efficiency, for example). However, now that the technology has advanced way more than when the concept of GEV was first developed (which is in the 60s), a company sees a future in ground-effect vehicles.
The company, called Flying Ship Company, is developing an Ekranoplan aka ground-effect vehicle as a cargo delivery vessel. The Flying Ship Company Unmanned Ground Effect Cargo Vehicle will be an electrically-powered, semi-autonomous thirty feet long vehicle.
It will fly over the water surface and dock using existing marinas, beaches, and boat ramps to deliver goods.
Since GEVs are essentially not aircraft, they are not bound by federal airspace regulations. This means lower cost and getting into operations quicker. Plus, when deployed, it will be 10x faster than the traditional ship.
Here, have a look at the concept Flying Ship the company is pitching:
The company has also reached out to specialists, namely Daniel of RCTestFlight and Calvin of Think Flight, to create a demonstrator and so far, the prospect is looking very bright for Ekranoplan. If you are intrigued by aerospace technology, be sure to check out the autonomous Ekranoplan put together by Daniel and Calvin in the video below.