4D-FREEDOM & SAFETY
The strategic objective of the project –
to provide people on all continents with versatile, high-speed, amphibious, all-weather and safe air transport.
This concept has been formed under decisive influence of publicly available information about the aircraft projects:
• Roberto Bartini’s airplanes
Source: Ronald Wong
• Victor Morózov’s aircushion-airplane Dingo
• Ground effect vehicle ELA-01 of the MAI team
• Vyachesláv Kolgánov’s ground effect vehicle Ivolga
The Multimode Ground effect Vehicles (MGV)
… are flying vehicles, the construction of which implements both known and new technical solutions and aerodynamic effects. A synergy of this association allows you to create a new type of aircraft with enhanced security and increased functionality.
The presented MGVs can have properties of several means of transport
(the bigger the block, the bigger the amount of properties)
Multimode ground effect vehicles fully meet the requirements for amphibious aircraft of the XXI century.
These requirements were formulated in the report (PDF in Russian) of the General Director and General Designer of the BERIEV Aircraft Company Viktor Kobzev at the VIII scientific conference on hydroaviation “Gidroaviasalon 2010“.
“The historical necessity for evolution of the hydroaviation aircraft in the XXI century in connection with natural anomalies on Earth.”
The report begins with the words:
“Today, in the year of the 100th anniversary of Russia’s aviation, we can make a clear conclusion: the development of the global ocean is a vital need of humanity, which satisfaction without revival and intensive progress of hydroaviation is impossible.
This conclusion will not change, if any further forecasts of natural anomalies on the planet come true, except, of course, the really catastrophic ones, in which to take refuge from the misery in the depths of the ocean or the land would be impossible.
Aviation will just have to become completely different. And it is time for us to think about this now, not just replicate the traditional solutions.”
Ground effect vehicles (GEV) (or wing-in-ground-effect (WIG) craft) are being developed for more than 60 years.
The best practical results, unrivalled until now, were achieved in the former USSR – there were WIG craft with a takeoff weight of up to 540 tons built and tested.
Currently in many industrialized countries intensive research and development on these machines is being conducted.
In Germany, for instance, a large number of lightweight GEVs was built and tested (A. Lippisch, H. Fischer, G. Joerg). A 20 seater WIG craft, built by the scheme of H. Fischer, is being prepared for tests.
In the United States practically all major aviation companies were performing design studies of GEV between 60 - 80’s.
But the failure to solve the problems of longitudinal stability and takeoff and landing devices have not led to the creation of an efficient transport aircraft.
In China three major State Scientific Research Institutes of technology are developing since the 90's the GEV technics. Dozens of vehicles have been designed and manufactured.
In South Korea, the state program for the development of GEV is being implemented. In particular, 20 seater GEVs have been built, work on creation of a 300-ton vehicle is in progress.
The main problem in creating WIG craft is to provide longitudinal stability and control in all flight modes: in the ground effect, in the transient modes and at altitudes outside of ground effect. This very problem was the cause of most accidents of WIG craft in the world.
Next problem is seaworthiness and the related problem of rapid and cost-effective takeoff from the surface of the sea. Further – amphibiousness, which is necessary for processing cargoes and maintenance service of the vehicle. For heavy GEVs these problems are particularly acute.
Therefore, up to the present time no country in the world has created samples of medium and heavy GEVs, fully suitable for commercial or other transport use.
The new aerohydrodynamic configuration (AHDC), which implements the concept of a “Multimode Ground effect Vehicle” (MGV) solves these problems essentially.
Moreover, in parallel with the main task – providing longitudinal stability, this configuration, without additional structural elements, solves the problem of takeoff and allows you to practically implement a new way of performing flight.
This method provides maximum security, also during an emergency climbing maneuver, in order to avoid collision with obstacles, as well as during descent for returning to the ground effect flight mode or to land.
Structural and operational features of the MGV
1. The main feature is the enforcement of the conditions of static and dynamic stability by simple layout and constructive solutions. That is, the MGVs have a natural self-stabilization.
2. Instead of a passive flow around lifting planes by relative airflow an active formation of the aerodynamic forces system with an improved aerodynamic effect is used.
3. The layout of the MGV allows to implement a new way of conducting flight, in which the security of ground effect flight dramatically increases. The essence of the method is that the entire flight and all maneuvers, including ones by altitude, are performed with a constant pitch attitude. In particular, with the zero deg pitch.
4. The high variability of the concept makes it possible to create original layouts for any task, speed and carrying capacity.
One of the layout versions is an amphibian vertiplane. On each side of the fuselage two, three or four propfans can be arranged. This provides a higher level of security, compared with hitherto implemented designs.
5. The landing gear is a big high pressure air cushion, that is created by main thrusters without special blowers.
Such chassis improves seaworthiness, provides improvement of takeoff and landing characteristics, and allows you to takeoff from both ground and water, eliminating contact with water during acceleration. This reduces takeoff time, saves fuel and improves its comfort for both passengers and crew. The landing gear provides an improved amphibiousness, enhanced security and cross-country capability.
6. The Propfans of the main thrusters are located within the contour of the center wing. This arrangement ensures the safety of people. It creates nor dust or spatter in the forward hemisphere, as it does when propellers are placed in front of the wing with their slipstream directed under the wing.
7. The special design of the bottom part of the floats allows takeoffs and landings on unprepared surfaces: a variety of soils, moor, snow, ice, littered water surface.
8. The version of a multiaxial landing gear in form of floats consisting of low pressure tires, enhances safety, expands application areas and simplifies the use of MGV.
9. The enlarged center wing chord (along the entire length of the fuselage) increases the cruising height of the ground effect flight. As a consequence, seaworthiness, flight safety and weight-lift increase.
10. Enhanced survivability of the aircraft at external damages. This enhances the security of passengers and crew in emergency cases.
11. The layout of the MGV provides the crew habitability like on a ship. That is, the presence of deck surfaces makes it possible for the crew to operate outside the cabin.
12. Free upper surface of the fuselage allows you to place various equipment, arms or openable cockpits for recreation.
13. Convenient and safe ways of embarkation / disembarkation of passengers – both from nose and from stern.
14. Aerodynamics of the MGV is not critical to the shape of the fuselage and floats – this allows you to use radar signature reduction technologies.
The theoretical basis of this project is conceptually related group of inventions.
Currently, the international application has been translated into the national phase in the following countries: Australia, Germany, India, Canada, China, Russia, the USA, South Korea, the European Union, the Eurasian Union.
The project author expresses his deep gratitude to all scientists, researchers, inventors, engineers, technicians and pilots who contributed to the development of aviation technology.
The author expresses his gratitude to Mr. Hanno Fischer for the positive assessment of the project, for the kind words of support, for substantial advice and useful information about the shrouded propeller.
Also the author is grateful to V. Sokolyansky (TsAGI branch for hydroaviation), specialists from the leadership of BERIEV Aircraft Company, KAI, SibNIA for the support and interest in cooperation.
Special thanks are extended to the staff of Geschäftsstelle Niedersachsen Aviation, Innovationszentrum Niedersachsen GmbH and personally to Dr. P. Heller for his support and assistance towards the implementation of the project.