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Applications for Wing in Ground Effect Vessels, a Transformational Concept. John S. Canning NSWC DD Code D11 (540) 653-2832 CanningJS@nswc.navy.mil. What is a WIG?.

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applications for wing in ground effect vessels a transformational concept

Applications forWing in Ground Effect Vessels,a Transformational Concept

John S. Canning

NSWC DD Code D11

(540) 653-2832

CanningJS@nswc.navy.mil

what is a wig
What is a WIG?
  • A Wing-in-Ground effect craft (WIG) is a vessel with wings that cruises just above the water surface, it is floating on a cushion of relatively high-pressure air between its wing and the water surface.
  • Is also known as a WIGE (Wing-in-Ground Effect), or a Wingship.
  • It is the ultimate low-drag marine craft.
  • It is a very high-speed, sea-based platform.
  • Some WIG vehicles have the ability to fly without ground effect as well, but inefficiently as compared to aircraft.

Airfisch 8 by Airfoil Development GmbH

caspian sea monster
Caspian Sea Monster

This is the largest WIG produced to-date

Length: 348 ft, Wing-span: 131 ft

what a wig is not
What a WIG is not….
  • Although it is capable of flying, it is not an aircraft.
    • WIGs are not designed or built to be aircraft.
    • The Caspian Sea Monsters, for example, were built in shipyards, using ship construction techniques.
    • However, they could benefit from modern aircraft design and construction technologies, such as integrated product models and composite materials.
  • They are also not hydrofoils, hovercraft, or surface effect ships.
    • Some versions have been designed that will hover.

These distinctions are blurring, however

two perceived fundamental uses
Two Perceived Fundamental Uses:
  • Weapons Platform
    • Traditional warship role
    • Includes being a “Mothership” for unmanned vehicles
  • Logistics Platform
    • Falls between being a ship and an aircraft for delivering cargo for both speed and cost.

Tendency exists to view this as an “either/or” choice.

Suggest that appropriate design might lead to a RO/RO family of capabilities that could provide both uses.

a transformational question
A Transformational Question:

Is the military object to clear the minefield, or to quickly get to the other side of the minefield, and do something to the enemy?

Clear the minefield?

Hop over the minefield?

A WIG will travel over the top of a minefield at very high speed, without damage, and perform its mission on the other side.

a corollary
A Corollary:

Q: If we can jump over minefields, how about enemy submarine patrol areas?

A: You bet!!!

ok so what if you really want to clear a path through a minefield
OK, So What if You Really Want to Clear a Path Through a Minefield?

MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD

MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD MINEFIELD

Have a WIG drop and control a number of UUVs designed to hunt/kill mines on its way over the minefield, and have them clear the path in a parallel effort, as opposed to starting at one edge of the minefield and working through it in a serial manner.

ascms an example for large ship asuw
ASCMs:An Example for Large Ship ASUW

Utka: Armed with six SS-N-22 SUNBURN missiles. Length 242 ft.

NOTE: Due to ship construction techniques used, ONI has concluded that Utka would be difficult to destroy.

sea sniper an example for asw
Sea Sniper:An Example for ASW

Based on RAMICS technology – could put this on a WIG

Moving Target/Moving Shooter

fyi rapid airborne mine clearance system ramics
FYI: Rapid Airborne Mine Clearance System (RAMICS)

http://www.onr.navy.mil/sci_tech/ocean/Info/RAMICS/ramics.htm

Uses a 30mm Bushmaster II chain gun for shallow water mines

Stationary Target/Stationary Shooter

small boat asuw
Small Boat ASUW
  • Lethal
    • 30 mm chain gun
      • Same one for Sea Sniper
      • Look down/Shoot down
      • Stay out of lethal range of small boat weapons
    • Other guns and/or missile systems
  • Non-lethal
    • Active Denial Technology
      • HPM system causing intense skin pain for exposed personnel
    • Running Gear Entangling System
      • Specially designed boat-stopping rope
active denial technology
Active Denial Technology

http://www.de.afrl.af.mil/factsheets/activedenial.html

The Air Force is investigating an airborne version of this current ACTD. Whatever they develop could be adapted to WIGs.

other examples
Other Examples

AC-130 Gunship w/ 105mm gun

Airborne Laser

While not WIGs, these examples indicate that other, large weapon systems have, and are, being integrated into airborne platforms. This could be done for WIGs.

a comparison
Speed - 40 + knots

Range – 4000+ nm @ 40kts

Draft – 10’ 7”

Length Overall - 370 ft

Beam - 100 feet

Weight - ?

Cargo capacity - 1100 tons

Operate at speed in 15 ft seas

Speed – 270 knots

Range – 930 nm

Draft – Draft? What draft?

Length – 348 ft

Wing span – 131 ft

Weight – 540 tons

Cargo capacity – ?

Operate at speed in any seas

A Comparison

Australian HSV

Russian KM

Direct comparisons are difficult due to differences on how “lift” capability is figured

wig logistics
WIG Logistics

“Do you want it there fast or do you want it there cheap? This has always been a concern of manufacturers, merchants and logisticians. When the shipment is trans-oceanic, mile for mile, sea travel is the cheapest. Air shipment is faster, but costs five times more per kilogram of weight. However, WIG technology can deliver large amounts of cargo with significantly less fuel consumption (50% more payload with 35% less fuel consumption than similar-sized aircraft 75% less fuel than comparable-sized hydrofoil ferries).”

Quote from: http://www.geocities.com/equipmentshop/wig.htm

Russian CHDB Chaika-2

implications for strategic mobility capability
Implications for Strategic Mobility Capability
  • Prior to the Gulf War, four separate DoD studies concluded we didn’t have enough sealift to meet mobility demands
    • Olds, Bradley L. The Impact of Wingships on Strategic Lift, Thesis for the Naval Post Graduate School, Monterey, CA, SEP 1993
  • DoD’s Mobility Requirements Study & Bottom-Up Review Update (1995) indicate that the U.S. still had an overall strategic mobility shortfall
    • Losi, Peter C. The Wingship’s Potential For Strategic Lift, Executive Research Project for The Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University, Washington, D.C., 1995
  • Does that mean we need WIGs for strategic mobility?
    • Depends on if a shortfall still exists when WIGs are fielded
    • We are undergoing the RMA
    • Forces getting smaller
    • Logistics decreasing
slide21

“Pelican” Container Cargo Aircraft BoeingPhantom Works, Air Vehicle Advanced DesignLong Beach, California

Strategic Airlift In Support of

Military CONOPS

This is a current LAND-BASED proposal

why are wigs not more common
Why are WIGs not more Common?
  • The main problem is getting out of the water, since the required power for take-off is a number of times higher than that required for cruising. This is due to the high drag in the water just before leaving the water surface, also called "hump drag.“
  • Ever since the very first experimental WIG craft were built in the 1930s, longitudinal stability has been recognized as a very critical design factor. When not designed properly WIG craft show a potentially dangerous pitch up tendency when leaving (strong) ground effect.
  • A WIG craft that fulfills all efficiency expectations would be extremely big, hundreds, maybe thousands of tons. Only at this size the relative height will be sufficiently small to be more efficient than for example a 747 on a trans-Atlantic route and still be clear of the waves.
  • Investors for a project to develop a craft this size will not be easy to find if the technology has not proven itself first.

The Russians solved all but the last problem

getting a wig out of the water
Getting a WIG Out of the Water

To address the “hump drag” issue, Beriev produced this WIG that incorporates a hydrofoil.

addressing the longitudinal stability issue
Addressing the Longitudinal Stability Issue

Flying wings, such as the YB-49, were inherently unstable. This issue was solved for the B-2 by the use of computer control. The same could be done for WIGs.

a design challenge
A Design Challenge
  • Designing a WIG craft is much more challenging than designing a ship or an aircraft. Especially in the preliminary design phase, many problems have to be addressed at the same time. One cannot isolate wing, tail and fuselage design, which is common practice to a certain extent in aircraft design. Rules of thumb are hardly available and simple analytic calculation methods for performance and stability of a WIG craft do not exist.

Meeting this challenge would provide the Navy a very valuable transformational capability

ideal wig missions
Ideal WIG Missions
  • Quick response precision strike platform
  • Special operations force insertion
  • Mine clearing & laying
  • Deep sea submergence recovery
  • Urgent re-supply of ships afloat
  • Disaster response

Source: ARPA Mission Analysis Team for 1994 wingship study

projections on wig technology
Projections on WIG Technology

“Russian analysts consider that WIG technology is now at the point where the U.S. can build an ocean-skimming WIG Air-Mech craft. It would weigh 5,000 tons and carry a cargo of 1,500 tons for a distance of 20,000 kilometers (12,420 miles) at a speed of 400 kilometers per hour (250 miles per hour). Such a craft could deliver 1,200 tons of military equipment and cargo plus 2,000 Soldiers. Russian analysts feel that, with financial backing, they could build a 5000-ton craft capable of lifting 1200 tons or 3000 passengers now. It could fly at 800 kilometers per hour (500 miles per hour) with a range of 16,000 kilometers (9936 miles).”

Quote from: http://www.geocities.com/equipmentshop/wig.htm

Artist’s conception of a proposal to ARPA by Aerocon, 1993 – 566 ft in length

costs
Costs
  • Estimates by Aerocon in 1994 put full-scale development and production costs in the range of $6.5 - $8.5B, but would save billions no longer necessary for other types of force projection, overseas deployment operations, pre-positioning, and support costs
  • Program costs of 13 WIGs estimated to total $15.2B, using Aerocon figures
  • Estimates by ARPA were as much as $50 - $60B just for development, but admitted that costs were “hard to nail down”
  • Air Force estimated $95B, but wasn’t really interested since it was sea-based
  • R&D cost estimates, which vary considerably, are largely unreliable because neither aircraft nor ship parametrics apply.

Recent Boeing figures are more than Aerocon’s estimates, but much less than ARPA’s. Boeing is looking at significant cost-sharing from commercial transportation industry. DoD’s share would be negotiable.

schedule
Schedule
  • Reported estimates from beginning of development to IOC ranged from 10 years to “over 13.5 years” (the median figure for IOC from an acquisition “Milestone I” decision).
risks
Risks
  • Vuja De
    • “We ain’t never been here before”
    • Finding a U.S. builder willing to take this on
    • At least one appears to be ready to address WIG technology
  • Propulsion
    • Large engine technology
    • Differing power requirements for takeoff/cruise
    • Saltwater environment
  • Rough water performance
    • Can it stay in ground effect?
    • Does it need to stay in ground effect?
      • Russian experience indicates that you can pull up to go over rough water/obstacles
  • Program sponsorship
    • No natural sponsor
    • Falls in the cracks between the Air Force and the Navy
    • Falls in the cracks between NAVSEA and NAVAIR
  • Materials
    • Lightweight, corrosion resistant
nuclear propulsion for aircraft
Nuclear Propulsion for Aircraft

NB-36H

Between 1946 and 1961, the Air Force and the Atomic Energy Commission spent more than $7 billion trying to develop a nuclear-powered aircraft. Although no airplane ever flew under nuclear power, the Air Force converted this B-36 bomber, known as the Nuclear Test Aircraft, to carry an operating three-megawatt air-cooled reactor to assess operational problems (it made 47 flights over Texas and New Mexico between July 1955 and March 1957).

The technicians and scientists did their best to succeed with the ANP program, and they did make a great deal of technological progress. However, without guidance their efforts were too spread out. The blame for the failure of the ANP program cannot rest with the technology, it belongs to the politicians and the military. While technical objectives were generally met by the contractors, there were apparently no firm military requirements set by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

thoughts on the risk of nuclear propulsion
Thoughts on the Risk of Nuclear Propulsion

“… History often characterizes past civilizations by the magnitude of the energies they harness – wood fires, coal fires, coke fires, and combustion of oil. Currently, we have reached the end of the chemical energy ladder with the combustion of hydrogen. Very likely, we will be judged by future historians by our ability to accept the challenge and demands presented by the use of nuclear power.”

 “The fears invoked by the perceived risk are unreasonable.”

 “… the risk of all the nuclear power plants in the US causing ten deaths in a one-year interval is 100,000 times less than having ten people killed in an airplane crash. It’s even 1000 times less than the chance of ten people dying from dam failures. Letting fear of a technology rule the course of history for a civilization is irrational. We can easily imagine early man finding a flaming branch after a lightning storm. Upon returning to his lair to show the new light to his tribe, he accidentally burns his fingers, drops the branch and sets fire to skins, bedding and surrounding detritus. The conclusions by the tribe: the flame is bad, evil; put it away; hide in the dark. But those who choose to conquer their fears will progress. Those who run and hide in the dark will not.”

“Are We Afraid of a Little Fire?” by Dr. Stephen D. Howe, “Science Fact” article in the JUL/AUG 2002 issue of Analog magazine, pg 60-61

why a wig needs to be large
Why a WIG Needs to be Large

Dr. V.V. Sokolov, Chief Designer at CHDB, told DARPA investigators in a 16 AUG 93 interview that the height of the wing above the level water line is usually:

h = H/2 + 0.1c

where:

h = height of wing above level water line

H = average of 3% highest waves

c = wing chord

It is easy to see from this that for zero height, h, there is a relation between wave height and the minimum wing chord (the distance from leading edge to trailing edge) required to stay above the water’s surface in a wave environment. This relation is plotted here. Wing size quickly becomes large for increasing sea state.

annual sea state occurrences in the northern hemisphere
Annual Sea State Occurrences in the Northern Hemisphere

Source: ARPA Wingship Investigation, 1994, Vol 1, Fig 5.4.4.1-1

shared development
Shared Development
  • The Russians have more experience working with this technology than any other group.
    • Teamed with Aerocon for ARPA effort
    • Current efforts with others
  • Likely worthwhile developing a teaming relationship with them in order to take advantage of this expertise
admiral cebrowski s transformational capability checklist
Does it enable a new concept of operation?

Does the new system or idea enable a difference in kind, not degree?

Is it robust in the face of a wide range of threats?

Does it broaden the competition more than legacy approaches?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Admiral Cebrowski’s Transformational Capability Checklist:

WIGs:

Question:

conclusions recommendations
Conclusions & Recommendations
  • WIGs are not new, but the technology hasn’t been fully explored.
  • It offers significant advantages to the Navy that can master it.
  • It is truly transformational.

Russian Orlyonok A90.125 – Length 190 ft

Recommend we pursue WIG technology