AMPHIBIOUS EKRANOPLAN AND ANALYSIS OF ITS TRANSPORT EFFICIENCY
DESCRIPTION OF THE AMPHIBIAN EKRANOPLANE AND ANALYSIS OF ITS TRANSPORT EFFICIENCY
Ekranoplan amphibia EkA is an innovative vehicle, a qualitatively new type in the structure of transport.
Ekranoplan amphibia, hereinafter referred to as “EkA”, is an innovative vehicle that combines the qualities of several previously known modes of transportation, such as:
Air transport, Water transport, Land transport.
Thus, the EkA in the civil version is a “multi-medium” device that does not require special launch pads, runways, allowing you to start and “hover” in place, move over land, water surfaces in the airspace at altitudes from 0.5 to 150 meters or 492 feet (ICAO restriction) and higher.
International classification for aircraft using the screen effect:
Type “A” – ekranoplanes that do not have the ability to detach from the screen, which is certified only within the framework of the IMO (International Maritime Organization), Fig.1
Type “B” – devices that can, if necessary, fly outside the area of influence of the screen. They are certified within the framework of the IMO with the involvement of the ICAO. Fig.2
Type “C” – aircraft that use the screen only during takeoff and landing. They are certified by the ICAO with the involvement of IMO. Fig.3
Marine passenger ekranoplanes belong to the type “B” according to the classification of the International Maritime Organization and have the ability to detach from the screen surface, climb and fly at an altitude of up to 150 m (ICAO restriction). Thanks to this, ekranoplanes of the “B” type can overcome all possible obstacles on the route when flying in cruising mode. The duration of the flight in isolation from the “screen” is dictated mainly by weather conditions, the situation on the route and economic factors, and is associated with an increase in fuel consumption.
EKAS ekranoplans are extremely safe even in the event of engine, power and system failures; the absence of a drop height and the presence of a “screen cushion” do not allow touching the surface until the minimum speed is reached. At the same time, they can easily fly around obstacles both from the side and from above, flying over relatively flat areas of land or flooded, swampy terrain.
The main differences between an amphibious ekranoplane and a passenger vessel with the same carrying capacity:
– 3-4 times less metal consumption of the EKA device;
– 1.5 times less fuel consumption per passenger-kilometer;
– 3-3. 5 times higher speed on the line and, accordingly, a longer range;
– increased comfort when driving over waves (seaworthiness).
The same comparisons apply to hovercraft (hovercraft). Fig.4
In comparison with the aircraft, the ekranoplane amphibian EkA is safer in flight (flight altitude 0-5 m).
According to their performance, amphibious ekranoplanes can replace the aging fleet of river and sea passenger high-speed passenger boats, small and medium-sized seaplanes, as well as provide year-round navigation on the routes of main rivers of all continents. Fig.12
Amphibious ekranoplans are the real masters of large spaces: rivers, seas, coastal areas, deserts, tundras-where they have complete expanse. Fig.5
To date, we can consider a variant of the standard appearance of the EKA, which solves the issues of stable and safe flight near the surface, the issues of effective use of the “screen effect”.
Criteria for the effectiveness of an amphibious ekranoplan.
According to the design and technological device (metal, equipment, engines) and operating conditions (basing, take-off and landing, flight). The ekranoplane amphibian EkA compares favorably with a seaplane in a stable mode of cruising near-screen flight at altitudes of the order of 0-5 m. This specificity determines the difference between the ekranoplan and the aircraft, according to the typical technical and economic indicators of which it is worth evaluating in the first place. The main component of the transport performance of the ekranoplan is its increased flight range with a given fuel reserve.
The comparative figures of the effectiveness of the airplane and seaplane
The main difference between an ekranoplan and an airplane is its ability to maintain a steady mode of on-screen flight. The performance characteristics of the ekranoplan vary not so much from the aerodynamic influence of the screen, but because of the air density, which is 3 times greater at the screen than at “airplane” altitudes of about 9-11 km. In this case, the lifting force of the wing is realized at lower flight speeds and the thrust increases at the same power consumed by the engine.
Ekranoplan EkA exceeds the seaplane by about 2-3 times in carrying capacity, with equal take-off thrust of the main engines. Transport efficiency of ekranoplan EkA (carrying capacity) it corresponds to the aircraft efficiency, provided that the accelerators are used for launching from the water, and the choice of the type of marching propulsion that is optimal for cruising flight mode (ekranoplan Orlyonok). In comparison with an airplane, an ekranoplan can be considered as a “Super-Airbus”, less high-speed, but much more load-carrying and roomy.
- Due to the similarity of the design structure and operating modes of a typical aircraft and an EKA, the transport efficiency and flight range, with equal power of the main propulsion system, are higher in the EKA, due to the increase in aerodynamic quality when flying at ultra-low altitudes (performance depends on quality squared).
- To achieve the same range and the same transport performance of the EkA, in comparison with a similar aircraft, it requires about 1.5-2 times less energy for flight. This allows you to create more lifting EkA, amphibious ekranoplanes, with the same main engines.
Potential applications of ekranoplans.
Devices that use the screen effect-ekranoplans are offered as high-speed vehicles, since these devices can move through the air. For these vehicles, it is permissible to increase the speed by 6-8 times compared to water transport. In addition, the EKR amphibious EKR is characterized by significantly higher efficiency compared to other high-speed vessels and even, which is of particular importance, compared to aircraft.
EKR amphibious EKR, which have high speeds comparable to aircraft, can actively influence the redistribution of cargo and passenger flows on sea routes. The use of amphibious ekranoplanes in many regions is favorable due to the fact that areas with high population density in Europe, America and Asia are located either on the coast or have very well-equipped access to water. Fig.6
It should be particularly noted that in the near future there will be a full need to create HIGH-speed ROADS ON the SEA and RIVERS due to the lack of territories on land. This will especially affect the countries of Europe, the Mediterranean, island and coastal countries, such as Japan, Taiwan, etc.
Market situation and application areas of EA amphibious ekranoplanes.
The routes currently used by high-speed vessels are relatively short. This is primarily due to the fact that the speed of “fast ferries” is still low (in rare cases, 40 knots). In connection with the proposed projects of amphibious ekranoplanes EA, it is possible to use them at much greater distances. Many use cases are possible:
- Direct competition to air transport: High-speed transportation across the sea is still possible only with the use of aircraft. The EA amphibious ekranoplanes will allow you to get to places that are not currently included in the international air transportation system (for example, cities on the coast). Fig.7
- Provision of existing sea transport services, which are currently served by displacement vessels. In this case, you can consider routes on the Baltic Sea to Sweden, Finland, Estonia, routes on the North Sea to England and Norway. And on the Mediterranean Sea there are such routes, for example, Sardinia/Corsica — Fest land, Spain-Lebanon, etc. Fig.8
EA amphibious ekranoplanes have great prospects in the field of passenger and cargo transportation, both international and for the domestic needs of individual regions and organizations. The international “routes” of ekranoplans will be several times shorter than the rail, road or sea routes used today. Amphibious ekranoplanes can be used to transport cargo and participants of scientific expeditions in the Arctic and Antarctica. Projects of passenger and cargo transportation over the waters and ice of the Arctic have been developed. This will allow cargo transportation in the northern ports all year round, regardless of the season.
- Tourism, Entertainment industry, X-sports. Fig.9
- Hunters, huntsmen, fishermen. Fig.10
- Rescuers. Fig.11
Amphibious ekranoplanes have great prospects in the field of rescuing people in distress at sea. The only thing that an airplane can do in this situation is to drop the rescue cargo on the water; the helicopter has a small capacity, and water vessels have a low speed, which means that they will not come to the rescue immediately. The rescue ekranoplan EA can be brought down at the accident site, and a medical center can be placed on board for rapid assistance to the wounded. And such projects are already being developed. Among space projects, the EA can be used to launch and receive reusable space vehicles, such as the “Shuttle”, which need a high initial speed for launch. There are projects to use EA screens as “overclockers” in a reusable space system, which will lead to cheaper launches of spacecraft.
Interesting winged amphibious EA and the military to transport troops and military equipment, anti-piracy, detection and destruction of submarines launch UAVs, cruise missiles. This is a real flying ship that can fly and land when the sea is rough, and even go to the unequipped shore. The effectiveness of the use of the EA ekranoplan as an amphibious vehicle attracted the sailors very much. High speed provides rapid troop movement and surprise attack, unattainable for conventional landing ships. Anti-landing obstacles and minefields are not a hindrance for the EA ekranoplan (it flies over them), and for capturing a bridgehead on a well-protected enemy shore, it is simply irreplaceable. It is not threatened by swampy river mouths and coastal rocks on which ordinary ships can crash. As well as the shallows. You can land troops anywhere — from the African Skeleton Coast with its devil reefs, to both North American coasts. According to military pilots, one of the main advantages of the amphibious ekranoplan EA is its survivability — the airfield is always under the car. During the tests, the amphibious ekranoplan was even planted on rocks, but it took off and reached the base without incident. Such features as: separation from the water at low speed (due to blowing), amphibious (land, water, air), lack of pitching from the effects of waves and atmospheric disturbances, lower fuel consumption than aircraft, helicopters, as well as low radar visibility and the ability to fly at air speeds, make this device unique in its capabilities. The device is able to go up from the screen and fly like an airplane.
So, Ekranoplan amphibian hovercraft EkA is: gaining popularity, multi-medium and multi-purpose “all-terrain vehicle”, two or more local hovercraft, designed with the best performance indicators.
The design, ergonomics, and construction were thought out and modernized over the years, based on numerous experiments. The hull design provides buoyancy blocks, which makes it unsinkable. It can “hover” on the spot, at a speed of 40 km/h, in addition, for amphibians there is no need for a specially designated track — this will undoubtedly attract fans of speed and extreme sports. Fig.8
Maneuverability, all-terrain mobility and versatility are the necessary attributes of a vehicle for rescue operations on water and land.
The simplicity of the design, the lightness and strength of the body, and the reliable “hybrid” power plant allow the EA to confidently overcome long distances with high speeds over different surfaces. These and many other qualities allow you to successfully perform a wide range of tasks in different fields of activity, create a breathtaking experience when driving a “flying all-terrain vehicle”. Fig.11
Who else is interested in an EkA on an air cushion:
Amphibious hovercraft will be of interest to entrepreneurs who rent out various entertainment equipment on the coasts of reservoirs and in places of mass recreation. The affordable price of a small-sized air-cushion EC, maximum safety and reliability make it an excellent choice for this purpose.
Ekranoplan amphibia EA hovercraft will not leave indifferent fans of extreme sports, hunting and fishing, which plan to use this 2-3x local EA for personal purposes. It can be both short trips “with a breeze” in the open space, and long comfortable walks together.
I think that each of you has driven a car and a boat at least once in your life. The EA management style itself is unforgettable, unique and leaves a lot of positive emotions. Believe me, the amphibious ekranoplan is worth learning and trying out!