killer-whale amphibious ekronoplans

Discussion in 'Internet Finds' started by lizzienewell, Jul 23, 2005.

  1. lizzienewell

    lizzienewell Member

    I've shifted from fishing boats to science-fiction and have posted both the latest in my fishig boats and also the sci-fi aircraft that I've been working on for the novel I'm writing.

    Ekronoplans and airplanes designed to fly in the wing in ground effect so that they only go a few meters from the surface of the water. The Coast Guard classifies them as marine crafts(a boat not an airplane).
    The Russians did a bunch of research on them and there are maybe a few companies that have tried to make them commercially.

    My science-fiction version is ultralightweight and carries no more than three people. my version would be useful for fish and game enforcement since the officer can me short speedy trips out to check up on fishing boats, hunters, and tourists. The wings fold so that it can opperate as a boat and can be rolled like a kayak. This would be a fun craft for use with personal fishing.

    I'm making the wing struts out of styrene since paper doesn't work well for moving parts. That is, paper hinges haven't worked well for me.

    I don't know if this sort of craft belongs with ships, aircrafts, or science-fiction.

  2. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    Looks pretty cool.

    But remember the wings on the ekronoplane the Russians had were very small. Not really used for lift as much as a "catcher" for the ground-effect. They also had a lot of dihydral (spelling) to help with the ground-effect.

    Maybe you can shorten and widen the wings on yours and it would be easier to fold up.

    Very cool idea. What is the proposed power source?

  3. lizzienewell

    lizzienewell Member

    I'm already shortening the wings. They are way too long, but I was first trying to figure out the folding mechanisms.

    What is dihydal? or however you spell it.

    The power source is mumbo-jumbo high-tech squid jets. The less said about them the better. They run off of hydrogen and act like a sneezing squid producing pulsing bursts of power. The craft can make use of the difference in wind speed between the surface of the water and the wind a bit higher up.

    In an animal behavior class I learned about how birds make use of this for flying. The bird dives with the wind toward the slower moving air near the water this increases lift. With more lift the bird rises and then gives a wing flap before diving again.

    I don't know if it would work on a human scale but it would be either fun or a great way to get motion sickness. The propulsor needs to be intermitant.

  4. SteveM

    SteveM Member

    dihedral is the angle the wings form when looked at from the front of the aircraft. Zero dihedral would be wings that are perfectly horizontal. Point the wingtips "up" and you have positive dihedral and a more stable aircraft. point the wingtips down you have negative dihedral and a less stable craft. That is, for normal flight, "wings in ground effect", the opposite is true, and negative dihedral is the more stable.

  5. Al hazlet

    Al hazlet Member

    You'll get a bigger lift envelope (you can fly a little higher and still have enough ground effect to stay up) with longer wings.

    Here's why, from
    "Wing-In-Ground (WIG) effect craft take advantage the fact that the aerodynamic efficiency of a wing, and particularly its lifting capacity, improves dramatically when is operated within approximately one-half of its span above ground or water, in what is termed ground effect. If the wing’s natural accelerated flow passing over it is further accelerated by the high-velocity exhaust of a turbojet engine, the lifting capacity of the wing is even more greatly enhanced."

    So a longer wing means you can fly a little higher to avoid rogue waves, boats, big rocks sticking up, and so on... Also, blowing your squid pulsejet over the wing might give better lift too (not so sure about that aspect). These aspects might be a factor in the design, depends on how you envision the craft in use.
  6. Kevin G

    Kevin G Member

    love the planes! any plans on making the model available to us?
    speaking of the russian designs, I have a model of the ekranoplane in my Flight Sim and it is one huge plane. Kinda amazing it even flies at all and believe me when i say it doesnt get off the ground by much!
    Great work!
  7. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    Thanks SteveM for the spelling. And the explanation for lizzienewell. Neg. Dihedral.... is what you want on this. Maybe a wing shape like
    the F-104 Starfighter would be what you want.

    Kevin........that's the whole idea........not fly high...the original plan for the ekronoplane was as a high speed troop transport. This thing did that very well! But I think the hover-crafts were a little more cheaper to use. Also more versatile too I think.

    Squid jets...... sounds kinda like the old pulse jet the V-1 used. Sounds neat and in the case of a rouge wave or other object in the way maybe it could be devirted downward like the jets on a harrier providing a jump lift to get over the object. This could be tied to a radar computer to be automated with pilot over-ride in an emergency.

    I too would like to see plans........if you want to make them available, I think there would be intrest in them.

    Here's a very fast drawing of what I mean. Hope this helps.
  8. 46rob

    46rob Member

    a negative dihedral is an anhedral.
  9. KushanFarsight

    KushanFarsight New Member

    the design was infact very effective. the soviets made a few ekranoplans, the most famous being the "Caspian Sea Monster". they were good in that they flew below radar, but were untargetable by conventional anti ship weapons. they filled a niche in which there were no guided weapon threats!
  10. Maurice

    Maurice Member

    The term used to describe negative angles of dihedral is indeed anhederal.

    Now, wishfull thinkers, read on down the page Al hazlet cited and whilst doing so remember that the generation of waves is governed by the Theory of Chaos. Whilst I won't attempt a full explanation of that here 8) the net result is that every once in a while you'll get a wave that's one hellav a lot bigger than you'd expect. Whilst the Caspian is relatively sheltered, occasionally, not very often but occasionally, the QE2 in mid-Atlantic encounters a rogue wave that breaks over it's bridge. Ouch. There are reasons why ships can disappear without reason. One can imagine the outcome in any ongoing battle between ekranoplanes going hundreds of miles per hour and waves not going very fast.
    Not mentioned on that page is the further point that the capture of ground effect is not an entirely constant phenomenon and can be unreliable particularly over undulating surfaces.

    Not of course that any of this will be known to Lizzie's enchanted readers who will undoubtedly be lapping up her engrossing narrative.


    I think you have achieved a charmingly organic form with your design.

  11. charliec

    charliec Active Member

    I think a pulsed engine system will require some suspension of disbelief.
    The V1 had a pulsed propulsion sytem but it was only designed to operate for
    less than an hour. Hanna Reich, who flew one of the manned V1s commented on the terrific vibration of the thing. The effect on the fatigue life of a structure being "pulsed" along can only be imagined.


  12. Gil

    Gil Active Member


    Nice job on the model design... the rogue wave issue may not be a problem on the planet in question depending on it's geography or it could be a very real and ever present danger used as a device to further the adventure/tension for the reader. Of course a high efficieny, sub-audible soliton detection and direction electronics module is included..., the engine should be based on standing wave technology using micro combustion of hydrogen yielding high efficiency operation, low thermal signature and maximum range though a little shy on the maximum do not exceed speed...,

  13. lizzienewell

    lizzienewell Member


    Thanks Steve. I'd noticed that in a photo of a commercially produced ekronoplan and didn't know what it was called or the purpose of it.

    I haven't been able to find the website again but it was a company out of Australia and it had a video of the craft flying. They put the landing floats at the wingtips.


    Steve wrote:
    dihedral is the angle the wings form when looked at from the front of the aircraft. Zero dihedral would be wings that are perfectly horizontal. Point the wingtips "up" and you have positive dihedral and a more stable aircraft. point the wingtips down you have negative dihedral and a less stable craft. That is, for normal flight, "wings in ground effect", the opposite is true, and negative dihedral is the more stable.

  14. lizzienewell

    lizzienewell Member


    Wow! You all have given me some excellent information and nicely distilled down so that I don't have to wade through technical websites and mathematical formula.

    As far as the squid jets though I figure that my science fiction culture makes us of nanotech that imitates biological forms. The skin of the craft and the things moving the wings would be piezoelectric aramid fiber. It would be a silica polymer that contracts under application of electricity. If you wove fabric out of this and hook each strand to a computer you could change the shape of the skin of the wing.

    I'm imagining that the squid propulsors would work along the same principle with lots of little sacks (like a lung) that contract under the application of electricity and in effect produce a sneeze. It might work like those toy rocket things that you fill with water and then pump up to increase pressure and then release.

    I know that if this ran off a hydrogen fuel cell it would also produce waste heat. But the human body burns sugar and runs quietly and with little excess heat, so I assume some sort of designed micro or nano reaction similar to the Kalvin cycle in the cell and as efficient. (hope I spellled that right I always mix it up with the Kreb cycle.)

    I want to go with hydrogen because it is a clean and easy way to transport energy. The hydrogen would be produced by tidal hydro-electric power generation. Hydrogen production uses simple and readily avalable materials for energy storage.
  15. Al hazlet

    Al hazlet Member

    Back to the bigger/longer wing thing -- not all ekranoplanes are real airplanes, in that not all will fly OUT of ground effect.

    Those that can't generate enough lift if they get above the (roughly half the wingspan) WIG envelope were classed in 2 groups on the site I saw (I think it was the one you mention, with actual flying versions that had pontoons at the wingtips).

    One group, with truly minimal wings, couldn't manage to recover from a bobble out of WIG flight (if they got too high, they lost lift, and had to descend a bit to recover, but their lift envelope was so shallow they touched down before getting back to stable flight).

    The second group had enough wing to do ballistic flight out of their WIG envelope, re-entering it at a shallow enough angle to keep out of the water.

    (The site's third group was those that could fly anytime, but were built to be ekranoplanes.)
  16. lizzienewell

    lizzienewell Member

    Thanks Al

    I'm not sure which way to go with my sci-fi craft.

    My promary excuse for using WIG is that my fictional planet lacks fossil fuels and so they must get by on the smaller amount of energy available from tidal power. The culture has a passion for energy efficiency and so they use WIG so that they used less power than normal aircraft would.

    I think that maybe the craft lacks the power rather than lacks the lift to go out of the WIG effect for a long period of time.

    GEEDUBBYA Active Member

    Howdy Miss Lizzie,

    Ok, if you will allow me to throw in a twist to your preception of your "world", one that is plausible and can be used possibly in your work.
    You said the world has no fossil fuels, and most people think oil, coal etc.
    I noticed that your "world" appears to have alot of water in the form of oceans which allows for some fuel possibilities.
    Of course there is the breaking down of water into its two basic elements Hydrogen and Oxygen, which are the basis for rocket fuel, but, being an ocean, and having many forms of life I am sure, both flora and fauna, the sea bed should be rich in methane from the decompistion of decaying plant and animal life. Solar power is another and wind generated electric is another possibility.
    I wasnt trying to alter your story line just provide feasible explanations for any fuels you may require in your stories.

    have a good day and btw, the models look great!

    greg aka GW
  18. lizzienewell

    lizzienewell Member

    fiction passage

    Thanks for the help with the design of this craft. With your comments in mind I added some details to this scene from my novel.

    The craft opperates via a wireless modem implanted in the pilots brain so that the craft acts like a direct extension of his body as if it were a prosthetic that connects via nerves. Instead of warning lights the pilot feels pain.His reaction will bypass the conscious centers of the brain and get processed through the amygdala. This partly takes care of the problem with rogue waves since the pilot can react faster.
    Sure it might not be true but it makes for good fiction.
    The implant also transmits radio communication so that he can send and receive without speaking.

    He is trying to get past a bunch of hybrid sail-hydrofoil boats.

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