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View Full Version : Wave-skimming plane developed in China



ckb2001
07-12-2007, 12:28 PM
Well, aside from the slightly troubling fact China did this before we did (though the Russians tested something similar during the Cold War), this is a great idea. By exploiting what's called the "ground effect" - where flying close enough to the ground disrupts wing vortices that normally cause drag - the aircraft can fly faster at such low altitudes than conventional planes while using half as much fuel.

Of course, there are going to be military applications of this. Let's hope this isn't one area where the US falls behind:

http://www.newscientisttech.com/article/dn12239-waveskimming-plane-developed-in-china.html

"Chinese scientists have developed a "wing-in-ground" (WIG) aircraft that can fly long distances just a few metres above the sea surface, state media reported on Wednesday.

The plane can fly as low as half a meter from the ground, hitting speeds of up to 300 kilometres per hour (180 miles per hour), while also carrying up to 4 tonnes on takeoff. WIG aircraft exploit a phenomenon known as the "ground effect", which occurs as a plane flies close to the ground.

The plane is as safe as a ship, although much faster, according to Xu Zhengyu of the research team that developed the plane at Tongji University in Shanghai. "It can carry much more weight than ordinary planes, while costing half as much and using half as much fuel," he says."
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cnc66
07-12-2007, 12:35 PM
I am sure we have worked on this ckb, we are not being caught unawares. I have always enjoyed the footage of the Ruskys big ol airplane. That thing is huge and it is hard to believe your eyes... I watch the pelicans here do that all the time and in fact have explained to sons and young cousins.

ckb2001
07-12-2007, 01:12 PM
I am sure we have worked on this ckb, we are not being caught unawares. I have always enjoyed the footage of the Ruskys big ol airplane. That thing is huge and it is hard to believe your eyes... I watch the pelicans here do that all the time and in fact have explained to sons and young cousins.

Yeah, we've probably worked on it, but I think we'd have heard of it by now if the US was seriously developing this since such technology isn't really top secret. Have you heard of the US developing this?

Thing is this cnc66. China is taking the approach of using a strategy of massive asymmetrical warfare against any future war with the US. They can't hope to match us 1 for 1 technology-wise like the Soviets tried to. So, they will concentrate on just a few select transformational technologies that could give them a victory against an otherwise superior force.

The obvious and most dangerous example is taking out our GPS system - much of our military advantages in a variety of areas would be partially wiped out then. Another example is developing a first-rate cyber-warfare force (only the US has one as good as China's).

And another is trying to use large numbers of robotic vehicles instead of manned ones (not clear which country will have the edge there).

So, while it's likely the US has looked into this technology, don't count on us having really developed it. It's probably not too much of a concern, but you never know.

Remember the Soviets and cruise missiles in the 1960's? The US had all these aircraft carriers and the Soviets having no chance of matching us initially just focused on massive numbers of anti-ship cruise missiles. The US was totally caught off guard, and simulations showed that our Navy would have been devastated if war had come (I think that was only for a few select years before we developed our own cruise missiles).

So, it's worth worrying about.

Pagan
07-12-2007, 01:24 PM
China alone is worth worrying about.

Quelonio
07-13-2007, 01:14 AM
I'm afraid of chinese people... and I live with two of them

DeathStar
07-13-2007, 02:10 AM
made in china = im worried about it.

Miamian
07-13-2007, 04:58 AM
In a military/terrorist(?) application, this type of plane would be highly susceptible to mines. If I were to design such as system, there would be a sensor that would detect the plane and calculate its speed. It could then relay the blip to the actual mine tethered not very far away.

ckb2001
07-13-2007, 01:14 PM
In a military/terrorist(?) application, this type of plane would be highly susceptible to mines. If I were to design such as system, there would be a sensor that would detect the plane and calculate its speed. It could then relay the blip to the actual mine tethered not very far away.

Hmmm.. interesting. I doubt conventional mines would work though. You'd have to design a different kind that throws up shrapnel.

Miamian
07-14-2007, 02:19 PM
Hmmm.. interesting. I doubt conventional mines would work though. You'd have to design a different kind that throws up shrapnel.I'm scaring myself a little bit with the way I'm thinking, but an explosion should disrupt the flight pattern and cause it to crash.

LtDan
07-14-2007, 02:56 PM
We have stealth planes, why would we need that?

Megatron
07-14-2007, 03:27 PM
We have stealth planes, why would we need that? To reduce costs and conserve resources during a conflict.

ckb2001
07-14-2007, 04:59 PM
I'm scaring myself a little bit with the way I'm thinking, but an explosion should disrupt the flight pattern and cause it to crash.

Oh, well I can't comment on that really. Either way, I don't think they'd deploy even modified mines against this. I mean you'd have to have a lot of mines of that sort if you think about it. Probably the most effective countermeasures are anti-aircraft missiles or interceptors. With lookdown-shootdown capability, I'd think that's the most obvious option.

ckb2001
07-14-2007, 05:01 PM
We have stealth planes, why would we need that?

You notice we have lots of non-stealthy aircraft. I mean this kind of plane can be made quite large and who knows it might be used as a transport for example. Otherwise, as Megatron said, costs.

cnc66
07-14-2007, 05:12 PM
one of our current defensive packages our Navy is working on is a system to raise a wall of water in front of low flying cruise missles, which are notoriously hard to hit. Anything that raised the water in front of one of these transports would auger it in.

ckb2001
07-14-2007, 06:02 PM
one of our current defensive packages our Navy is working on is a system to raise a wall of water in front of low flying cruise missles, which are notoriously hard to hit. Anything that raised the water in front of one of these transports would auger it in.

That's interesting cnc66. You have a name for the project or a link?

cnc66
07-14-2007, 06:29 PM
That's interesting cnc66. You have a name for the project or a link?

I'll have to dwell on where I saw it, but I will poke around some.