Saturday, July 14, 2007

WIG plane which can fly 180 mph just a few feet above the sea surface!

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Chinese scientists have developed a "Wing-In-Ground" (WIG) aircraft which can fly long distances just a few feet above the sea surface, state media said on Wednesday. The plane can fly as low as half a meter (1 ft 7 ins) off the surface, hitting speeds of up to 180 miles per hour and can carry up to 4 tons on takeoff.

"It's as safe as ships, although five or six times faster," associate professor Xu Zhengyu, vice-president of the research team at Tongji University in Shanghai, was quoted as saying.

"And it can carry much more weight than ordinary planes while costing half as much and using half as much fuel."

Tongji University planned to develop a 50-seat WIG by 2013, with 200 prototypes capable of carrying 200 to 400 tons scheduled for 2016 or 2017.

The WIG has been listed as one of three types of aircraft given the green light in the general aviation field by the State Commission of Science Technology and Industry for National Defense, Xu was quoted as saying.

"However, the Civil Aviation Administration of China has yet to confirm aviation regulations at such low altitudes, which may become a problem," Xinhua said. Link

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