It is expected that a ship that flies above the surface of water at a maximum speed of 600km/h will be introduced at the end of 2009 at the latest.
The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries announced on January 30 that it selected a wing-in-ground effect ship (photo) development project as a major national agenda to put into practice within five years. The wing-in-ground ship is a transport ship that runs three to five meters above the surface of water at a speed of 200 to 600km/h while carrying 200 passengers at once.
The ministry is planning to review the economic feasibility of the project from next month to April, and to invest a total of 120 billion won in the project from the second half of this year to 2009.
The wing-in-ground effect ship is a futuristic ship which the Korea Research Institute of Ships and Ocean Engineering / Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute (KRISO /KORDI) developed over some 10 years, and has already received patents for its manufacturing technology in the U.S., Singapore and Europe, not to mention within Korea.
The ministry predicts that the commercialization of the ship will bring about a big change in the passenger and cargo transportation market in northeast Asia, as it will make it possible to link costal areas of the country with east coast of China and Japan within one to three hours at roughly half of the airfare.