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Wing in Ground Ways

Cities joined by aircraft flying low on specially built roadways
  [vote for,

The Wing In Ground (WIG) effect allows special aircraft to fly 100-300 km/h at 1/3 or less of the operating costs of conventional flights. Development has centered on WIG “boats” that take off, fly over and land on low-wave water, but a network of roadways might make high speed, inexpensive WIG transportation over land a half-baked reality.

The wide, level paths could be made of packed, crushed rock or grassy plains trimmed by tumble-tolerant sheep (alliteration unintentional). Water and land use could be combined for a non-pressurized, “You may open your window”, flight from Miami to Dallas.

FarmerJohn, Sep 01 2003

(?) Wing-in-Ground Effect http://www.tc.gc.ca...ures/wingeffect.htm
[FarmerJohn, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

The WIG Page http://www.se-techn...y.com/wig/index.php
[FarmerJohn, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Aerodynamics http://www.infinity...g_aerodynamics.html
[FarmerJohn, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Tumble-tolerant penguins http://www.urbanleg...uins_fall_over.html
An urban legend, however. [Cedar Park, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

(?) WIG craft? http://www.dfcom.fr...hbw/images/red4.gif
I'd use one! [Jinbish, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Pelican http://www.boosman....rchives/000407.html
A really big airplane. [Freefall, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       Nice, the windows stay closed at 300kph though, so the dog doesn’t find out just how floppy her ears really are.
Shz, Sep 01 2003

       intelligent, interesting internationally ingenious idea infused in infernal ingredients.
po, Sep 01 2003

       I just want the tumble-tolerant sheep.
Cedar Park, Sep 01 2003

       do you want to talk about this?
po, Sep 01 2003

       Um... I just read that again... that didn't turn out quite right, did it?
Cedar Park, Sep 01 2003

       its ok, Cedar, its just us two here - well, bris might be tidying up in the next room. we'll just forget it, eh?
po, Sep 01 2003

       (brushes off pride, reseats self at computer)
Cedar Park, Sep 01 2003

       mind you, I will never look at you in quite the same again <sniggers>   

       seen that story before and ok, successfully diverted my attention.
po, Sep 01 2003

       300kph in ground effect? One wind shear and it will truly be wing in ground . . . a ways.
bristolz, Sep 01 2003

       Completely off topic, but will there be some sort of Half Bakery Con/get together thing occuring in london any time after October the Tenth?
kaz, Sep 01 2003

       "--Your lawful, wedded shepard?"
Eugene, Sep 01 2003

       Fine, as long as they don't have lamp-posts
FloridaManatee, Sep 01 2003

       Strangely enough, I’ve seen this done at high altitude, but never over ground/water. Can the danger be removed? - I don’t think so, but will keep thinking.
Shz, Sep 01 2003

       Might be useful for some overland routes, given current topography, but new swathe- flattening (yielding wide, indefinitely treeless firebreaks &c.) for this purpose would likely greatly impact local biomes. Add in sky-high labor/material costs and I think we have some issues to mull.   

       Therefore, I vote for overwater commercial WIG routes in the near term. Notably, these can go where railways virtually -can't-, and need not even be oversea -- think Toledo-Buffalo, Kampala-Mwanza, or Baku-Astrakhan, among inland possibilities. Perhaps even some lower rivers would be navigable.   

       Overall, of course, lots of seaports in particular could benefit from such flights, if safety could be well-maintained and traffic and noise controlled effectively.
n-pearson, Sep 01 2003

       //How do you get ground effect at high altitude?//   

       It takes 3 planes to do it. Position the right wing of the plane on the left under the left wing of the plane in the center, and position the left wing of the plane on the right under the right wing of the plane in the center.   

       Ground effect at altitude. - No less dangerous than skimming the ground.
Shz, Sep 01 2003

       How about using some kind of hybrid system that can actually "land" the craft on Unabubba's maglev rails and slide into a train station? If they shut Amtrak down, you could possibly use existing (as well as abandoned) rail right-of-ways. I also suspect WIG that can carry a fair number of passengers are already floating around somewhere nearby... For that matter, you might be able to use active rail routes depending on the definition of WIG.
cloudface, Sep 02 2003

       If you look at [FarmerJohn]'s second link and select "What is a WIG?"->"Conceptual design" and go to the bottom there's a description of proposed highspeed train using WIG instead of maglev. It doesn't use plain water or roads but troughs. I suppose this gets rid of the windshear problem. But I wonder how the points work.
Gordon Comstock, Sep 02 2003

       sounds nice, but commercial airliners fly much faster than 300 kph, and the wake vortices that these things leave behind would play havoc with auto traffic. All that, and not to mention noise concerns. On the positive side, for overwater routes, Boeing is developing a super-sized transport called the "Pelican". (see link)
Freefall, Sep 02 2003

       Hmmm, there goes my mast.
scubadooper, Sep 02 2003

       Good links FJ. I imagine this would look awesome, especially lying on your back on the W-Way as the 3:30 from Miami to Dallas flew over.   

       If you didn't want people to do this btw, you'd have a hell of a fencing job on your hands.
stupop, Sep 02 2003


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