WIG — sea gun XXI century?

WIG occupy a special place in the collective unconscious, many inhabitants of the former Soviet Union. In another paradox as to realize the love of our people to these stunning designs — no reason to explain the reason of this is unreal. WIG did not set high scores and not spinning in the sky "barrel" and the "dead loop". In fact, no one has beheld them live. The only thing that an ordinary tradesman knows — it's indescribable beauty on sight soaring above the water polukorablya-polusamoleta. Specifically, so should look real Imperial fleet! Massive, fast, great!

Short techno help. Ground effect is the change in the aerodynamic characteristics of the aircraft in flight near the surface of the shield (water, land, etc.). The effect appears only at low altitudes (less aerodynamic chord of the wing), due to the formation of dense "air cushion" between the lower plane of the wing and the shield surface. As a result, an additional lift, which is all the stronger, the less speed and lower altitude WIG.

About WIG stroll fabulous legends — an unusual ton aircraft has the speed and payload of the vehicle. Going on the border of 2-media winged invisible on radar screens, he can go rovnenkie areas of land and can throw in a few hours for the whole ocean landing battalion. Capacity, efficiency, speed!
The phenomenon is that at the moment anywhere in the world WIG not used …

Cool shower

The fundamental laws of nature are impossible to fool. Thought WIG directly violates one of the fundamental principles of aviation: a low-altitude flight profile is not optimal from the standpoint of fuel efficiency. The plane is flying fast through the thin air at the boundary of the stratosphere. Ekranoplane have to break through the dense layers of air near the earth's surface.

In strong contradiction enter the winged design elements: the plane, according to the rules of aviation should be easy, and the ship, on the contrary, languid and strong to take on board hundreds of tons of cargo and withstand the shocks aqua elements. Steep hybrid vehicle and aircraft in practice was naughty naughty plane and ship.

First 60's mind-boggling thought-ship aircraft carried away by Rostislav Alexeyev — a professional designer, shipbuilder, a recognized professional in the field of hydrodynamics, the creator of the best rivers in the world of the hydrofoil. Fifteen years he worked on solving the puzzle, trying to cooperate in the construction of the winged conflicting demands of aviation and shipbuilding. To no avail. Each time the test WIG plunged into military oppression.

It was enough to think about: a huge ekranoplane to overcome the terrible air resistance is constantly lacked traction. Together with the monstrous sea-ship aircraft, ineffective from the standpoint of aerodynamics, this has led to a ridiculous result. 6 engines. Eight. In the end, 10 of jet engines RD-7 from far sverhzukovogo bomber Tu-22. * It was in the light of unprecedented magic CM — winged "Caspian Sea Monster".

* Actually on the Tu-22 installed engines RD-7M, which had some differences from the "WIG craft", including the least traction in besforsazhny mode (10,000 kg vs. 11,000 kg in the RD-7).

WIG Ship Model (CM). Max. take-off weight 544 tons. 10 jet engines RD-7. Cruising speed of 400 km / h

Ekranoplane CM took 10 engines! The plane had 2-. Well, with all this, the greatest take-off weight of more than KM 5 times. At 5 times more thrust, 5 times the take-off weight — but where is the economy, which is not so little they say proponents WIG? And there is no cost — despite the increase in lift due to ground effect, all the reserves "eaten up" air resistance. Promises to disable part of the engine in flight is not tenable — only 10 minutes of take-off, 10 jet engines burn 30 tons of fuel!

In fact the situation is even worse: at the bombers in 2 times higher cruising speed, and its maximum speed of 1,600 km / h — generally inaccessible to the airfoil. CM winged flight distance does not exceed 1,500 km. At the Tu-22, the figure was 4,500 — 5,500 km, depending on the version.

Far supersonic bomber Tu-22. Max. take-off weight of more than 90 tons. Cruising speed of 950 km / h

A comparison of the distant bombers and languid WIG not quite right — despite some general principles and repetitive power plants, these are two completely different types of technology, different in size and puzzles. A comparison of more WIG CM and "Lun" (vosmidvigatelnoe magic, the future development of KM) with a languid transport aircraft An-124 "Ruslan".

Against the background of "Ruslan" both offspring KB Alekseyev seem flying anecdotes — AN-124 udelyvaet them both in payload, speed, range, fuel efficiency and ability of operation. For pilots not matter relief under the wing of the plane: the mountains, the taiga, the ocean … There is a contract — and "Ruslan" is flying from Moscow to Novosibirsk distance 3200 km, carrying 150 tons of cargo. Cruising speed "Ruslan" — 800 km / h

Another miracle ship "Lun." Pay attention to the aerodynamics of a beautiful and eight (!) NK-87 engines, taken with a wide-bodied Airbus IL-86


Samples were attributed trivial critical difficulties WIG the lack of time and effort from the designer Alexeeva are without basis in reality — at the beginning of the work on this topic, Rostislav Alexeyev was behind a lot of experience related to the design of high-speed vessels, and the design of its WIG used perfectly processed technical solutions of shipbuilding and aviation. And yet … in the 15 years of research KB Alekseyev and failed to make an effective benchmark WIG.

Eagle does not catch flies

The colorful "star" in the collection WIG Alexeev — transporotno-landing winged A-90 "Eaglet". WIG craft capable of accommodating up to hundreds of Marines or two armored personnel carriers, and deliver them to a distance of 1,500 km at a speed of 350 km / h In contrast to their own brothers, "Eaglet" deprived of their heavy type with 10 engines — on the contrary, it is very beautiful, fast machine with a duralumin fuselage and the engine only at the top of the tail fin. There's even a defensive machine gun mount and retractable landing gear for landing on airfields everyday. And "Eaglet" not normal WIG — it is the ability to come off the screen and fly up to a height of 3,000 m, as ordinary plane. Beautiful, equilibrium mc, which can be any doubt?

A-90 "Eaglet". Max. take-off weight of 140 tons. The desired load 20 tons. Cruising speed of 350 km / h

Indeed, at first glance, "Eaglet" to equip just one engine — a turboprop NK-12 engines are the same at the intercontinental bomber Tu-95. But pay attention to the nose of the fuselage, it hid two "surprise" — two turbojet engine NK-8, taken from the passenger Tu-154. Good for moderate winged …

Again, sounds excuse that nasal engines are used only on the rise. How annoying would it sounds, this is not the case — the engines "Eaglet" have a rotary nozzle that allows you to bring the jet over the wing! Why
is it made? That's right, at the critical load and the highest speed flight thrust of the tail motor is not enough — you have to include the nasal spray. The most economical ton, and you did not know?

Built in 1972, "Eaglet" was offered as a special ton Navy, as a typical candidate of the military transport aviation. At that time, the main transport aircraft in the Russian Union was the An-12, commercially available since 1959. An old tried and tested "Antonov" did not leave any chance to "Eaglet" — with a similar payload (20 tons), the An-12 had twice the minimum take-off weight (of course! Because he does not need an anchor and an additional ton of fuel). Cruising speed "Antonov", as expected, was significantly higher than that WIG — 670 km / h and a range with a critical load reached 3,600 km.

AN-12. Max. take-off weight of 65 tons. The desired load 20 tons

But at the An-12 four engine! — Encouraging to remind fans of the airfoil. But it would be better if they do not remember …
"Antonov" equip turboprop engines AI-20 (in normal mode 2,600 hp, 4,250 hp at take-off). Surprisingly, but the aggregate capacity of all four engines AN-12 is the sole sustainer engine WIG.

WIG associate with more modern machines are not recommended. Mighty AN-22 "Antey" picks up 60 tons of payload, and, as usual, has repeatedly exceeds the "Eaglet" in speed, range and fuel economy.

Cargo compartment AN-22 "Antey" (1965) Max. take-off weight of 250 tons. The desired load 60 tons.

Clearly, the "Eaglet" was stillborn project. A couple of years ordeal with this very expensive and useless "toy" in 1976 by the Minister of Rostislav Alexeyev shipbuilding industry has been removed from the affairs. WIG and its creator come to the end of the own laws.

How to distinguish dark from the white? Eyes!

From time to time woes Rostislav Alexeyev associated with the evil machinations of the Minister of the shipbuilding industry, BE Butomy. Maybe they really felt a personal dislike for each other, although at least some of us would be outraged if he was asked to buy a ticket on the double tariff and fly twice as slow. Specifically it is suggested pochetaemy Rostislav E..

"How dare you so deserved rebuke the people" — ask me indignant reader. How annoying would it sounds, I just sounded only the present state of affairs, the decision for all of us have long accepted intelligent people of Russian ministries and agencies of the Union. WIG was nobody needed dead-end technology.

An attempt to trouble on poor judgment and management of Russian conservatism looks obviously unfounded. ML Miles and NI Kamov some reason were able to convince management of the country's own development and utility built tyschami their remarkable helicopters. The helicopter, despite the low rate of economic inefficiency and fuel, has a number of unique properties, among which:

— vertical takeoff and landing,
— unmatched flexibility, the ability to hover in one place,
— transportation of bulk cargoes in the outer suspension.

Unfortunately, the proponents of WIG could not construct any 1st understandable reason that justifies the construction of these ts.

Cost-winged fairy in practice has not been confirmed — a winged ship consumes more fuel than a similar-sized aircraft. I'm not talking about the price of the wonder-ship and its service — the only set of 10 jet engines for the "Caspian Sea Monster" will cost a pretty penny.

The advantage of the winged often call it invisible to enemy radar. Hmm … first, the plane distant radar perfectly sees such large surface targets at a distance of 400 km (border radio horizon). In-2, at least some plane, if necessary, can make flying at low altitude. So, sorry comrades by.

Third argument — ekranoplane not need an airport with a longish-in-year runway. Yes, this is the first severe reason. However, in view of all the above shortcomings, it is still the only advantage does not provide sufficient grounds for the construction of WIG. In addition, the WIG is not as selfless as it is presented — for its service needs a dry dock with the entire infrastructure.

Other positives miracle ship? Here, for example, hovering winged not afraid of sea mines. So what aircraft to their generally not the case.

From time to time there are proposals to use the airfoil as marine rescuers. Frame miracle ship is capable of a few hours to get to the crash site on the high seas and to take on board a hundred people. The offer is worthless for one reason — soaring at high speed at a height of 5 meters, WIG just fail to find the victims.
The best sea rescue system has long been known — two languid helicopter (search and rescue and refueling). Soaring to a height of several hundred meters, helicopters exploring an hour 10s square kilometers of sea surface, for all that they do not concede many ekranoplane in speed and responsiveness.

Fascinating attempt to implement the airfoil for amphibious assault landing — fans WIG insist on quick delivery of Marines to the enemy shores. Offer bad — landing can not be planted on the unprepared store, in another all reincarnated into a bloody mess. The first over enemy territory and bombers seem to dig it all up and down. In general, in our time preparing for major operations for months before the invasion — time enough to carry on ships across the floor of the world thousands of tanks. And most important — is lower in WIG range, only 1500 km — not enough to cross the Baltic.

Do you think it is great to drag this monster?


A comparison with the winged seagoing vessel does not make sense — built in aviation technology, it does not look like a ship. Maritime transport does not know for themselves equal in capacity and traffic rates — WIG lost all these properties. Its load capacity corresponds to an ordinary transport plane, and the price of delivery of the goods exceeds (!) Characteristics of transport aircraft.

The conclusion sounds simple: there was no winged implementation. All niches are occupied by other mc:

— To be delivered through the ocean of 10 thousand tons of cargo? Always available for sea transport. Despite its apparent "slow speed", the most ordinary or ro-ro cargo ship in 50 days crossing half the globe. The secret is simple — the ship, as well as the train do not care about the weather — at any time of the year, day or NIGHT MODE and, in the storm and the storm without refueling stops and he stubbornly crawling towards his own goal with a speed of 20 knots (40 km / h). Slow and steady wins — then you will be. It's about the sailors.

— Necessary urgently deliver 20 … 30 … 100 tons of cargo on another continent? Always available to transport aviation. The aircraft will accept cargo on board, and 10 hours to arrive at the point. There's an earthquake destroyed the airfield? Not bad — IL-76 MOE will sit on any more or less rovnenky site.

— Required to deliver a drilling rig in the North District of the Last? Help helicopter — will pick up a rope cargo neatly and as carefully lowered into the desired location.

Maybe the reason for the popularity of WIG is that nowhere in the world, not counting the USSR such things were not built. Amazing … in Russian Union created a lot of unique things — Moon rovers, space s
tations, deep-sea titanium submarines, air heavyweights AN-124 "Ruslan" and An-225 "Dream", but for some obscure laws of psychology, human memory is most clearly preserved memoir about embarrassing iron birds flying over the aqua satin. Maybe winged involuntarily associated with a pipe dream of the wonderful communist future.

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