Boeing LOBOY Anti-submarine WIG, 1965


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In the mid-1960s, the Boeing Company published a study for a concept of LOBOY, a wing-in-ground effect ASW aircraft. This concept was unusual because the vehicle had a wing aspect ratio of 12, much greater than conventional WIGs with aspect ratios of from 1 to 5. Also, the wings did not have end plates.
This project was new to me, and I couldn't find any mention on the forum either. Quite an original configuration!


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Wrongly spelled - it was LOBOY not "Lowboy" :)

...LOBOY, so named by NASA to describe an aircraft designed to fly continuously in ground effect over water. Flying in close proximity to the surface suppresses induced drag and results in maximum lift-to-drag ratios as high as 35 for the configurations studied...

The LOBOY is powered by high-bypass ratio turbofans and requires thrust augmentation in the form of additional turbofan engines for takeoff, dash, and flight out of ground effect. The thrust augmentation engines can be Buried in the wing aft of the rear spar, with inlet: air provided by individual scoops hinged from the front spar. When these engines are shut down, inlets and exhaust ports are closed into smooth contours.

An automatic flight control system is required for LOBOY flight to keep the aircraft at the proper proximity to the surface in a safe manner while sensing larger, oncoming waves over which the LOBOY must rise. Such a system is considered feasible.

This aircraft bas been included in the discussion of prospective ASW vehicles in spite of obvious drawbacks because it is designed to fly over the oceans and has remarkable range and endurance. It is obviously not an all-around ASW patrol plane, but certainly should be kept in mind for special missions. It flies too low for radar coverage and for radio reception of distant sonobuoys and other ASW units. However, for a given size, it is unequaled in range, endurance, and economical flight. Figure 15 is an artist's conception of a LOBOY in flight.

ASW Patrol Aircraft of the Future (AIAA Paper 66-727)
The use of turbofans is strange, for propeller turbines should be much more efficient at such an altitude.

The knock-out for the concept was likely low speed and its inability to fly small radius circles with such a wingspan.

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