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Aerocon Wingship

Gannet

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Found this paper entitled "The Wingship's Potential For Strategic Lift" which I found very interesting at http://www.ndu.edu/library/ic6/95-S12.pdf

It states "Steven Hooker, an aeronautical engineer and DIA analyst who first observed the Caspian Sea Monster in 1967. He became so convinced of the mobility potential of this new type of vehicle that he left the Defense Intelligence Agency in 1983 to pursue the full scale development of a practical WIG transporter. In 1984, Mr. Hooker founded his own company, Aerocon, to develop a Wing-In-Ground-effect vehicle that had the cargo capacity and range of a small ship. Consequently he called his concept a "wingship" and this term is now commonly used to refer to a WIG vehicle designed for a transportation role. Hooker's vision for a wingship was a vehicle that was roughly ten times the size of the Soviet's Caspian Sea Monster."

"The wingship's potential as a solution to this nation's long-standing mobility shortfall was brought to the attention of Congress through the successful lobbying efforts of Aerocon. Subsequently, the FY93 Defense Appropriations Act provided five million dollars for the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) to determine if there was a military need for a wingship and, if so, how it might improve United States airlift and sealift capabilities."

Back in 1995 when the paper was prepared it stated you could buy "13 wingships and the Aerocon figures to arrive at a program cost of $15.2 billion." which was shown in Table 1 to be equivalent to (63) C-17 Cargo Aircraft, (69) Fast Sealift Ships, or (102) C-5 Cargo Aircraft.

So now there is the Aerocon Wingship, Beriev 2500, and Boeing Pelican ULTRA. Are we ever going to see one get built?
 

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Triton

Donald McKelvy
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Vahe Demirjian

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That's a pretty impressive WIG. A GEV weighting 5,000 tons and carrying 2000 pax would have been an impressive commercial WIG, being the airborne equivalent of the Titanic. If Aerocon had built a prototype wingship for technological demonstration purposes and another to carry passengers, would you have been frightened to travel in such a truly massive machine, lest it sink like the Titanic after hitting a rogue tidal wave?
 

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