WIGs are coming commercially. As they are maritime vessels, there will be a need for mariners to sail/operate these. How does everyone feel about these vessels, the future of them (disregard the past failures at this point, its a new day)
I wonder if that requires dual licensing, USCG and FAA.
Its not supposed too. By the rules, its a maritime vessel, its not a seaplane.
That’s also their lack of understanding focusing on the US market, which would have to be US flagged, to operate interstate. If they focused on Caribbean, Greek Isles, SE Asia, Australia, etc, then they could of gone straight to Flag and Class, built as per WIG standards, proven out their tech internationally, then coming into US waters could of been an easier road. This is a company who has very smart people, but they also still use Aero verbiage in their marketing and social, which will confuse everyone. They need to stick to maritime and speak the language.
I watched the video. In my opinion, once it leaves the water that thing is an aircraft.
Well, as per the rules, its’s not. It is a 170kt vessel moving over the water/waves, within the wingspan constraints.
Federal law does not share your opinion
Per 46 U.S. Code § 2101:
(56) Wing-in-ground craft means a vessel that is capable of operating completely above the surface of the water on a dynamic air cushion created by aerodynamic lift due to the ground effect between the vessel and the water’s surface.
Internationally the IMO weighed in a few years back. The summary is so long as it stays in ground effect it’s a vessel. Once it leaves ground effect it’s an aircraft. They’ve also been mentioned in COLREGS since at least 2003:
I’d be curious to see how flyable this thing is once it’s out of ground effect.
In an emergency, it should be able to deviate out of ground effect, if I remember the rules correctly. Its interesting though, on their website, they are looking for test pilots, another confusing item in their messaging. They should be looking for mariners who can learn to operate it and test its maneuverability. No wonder USCG and FAA are confused. They bring this scrutiny on themselves
I’d feel safer turning one of these for testing purposes to an airplane pilot already familiar with flight controls and ground effect
I fully understand what the current rules state with regards to WIG craft., that doesn’t change my opinion while viewing the video. I am also trying to envision the life raft and free-fall lifeboat arrangement on the thing.
It’s probably not… hopefully the stall characteristics are gentle.
Probably won’t require a freefall lifeboat. Most commercial hovercraft that I’ve seen images of use life rafts that are mounted externally. They could meet the CFR requirements with a life raft, I’m not sure how they’ll meet the stowage requirements though unless they’re able to somehow mount them into the wing top.
Probably the same way as life rafts are carried and stowed on aircrafts?
If they fell under aviation regulations then sure. But we’ve already established that per IMO and ICAO that they fall under shipping rules, not aviation rules.
Anything in SOLAS that stops them from being stowed the same way as on aircrafts?
Fast ferries and others use evacuation system very similar to those on large airliners.
WIGs don’t carry that many passengers
Do any aircraft use liferafts that will automatically self-release like is required on vessels?
looks like the sea state would have to be close to flat water operation.
How would it operate in choppy seas? wont the ground effect be disturbed by large swell?
If it looks like a duck, it’s a……