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Ground Effect Vehicle to be Commercialized in 2010

Posted June. 24, 2005 05:54,   


A 100 ton Wing-In-Ground Effect Vehicle (WIG) that moves one to five meters above the sea surface with the speed of 250 km per hour is expected to be commercialized in 2010 in Korea for the first time in the world.

On June 23, the government discussed and confirmed a plan to commercialize the WIG as a national research and development project at a science and technology ministerial meeting which was chaired by Oh Myung, deputy prime minister and minister of science and technology, at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul.

A WIG ship floats above the sea surface thanks to a surface effect, which is characterized by dramatically increased upward-force that enables air to support the ship, and proceeds with the help of propeller engines that are made for aircraft.

As there is no friction with the sea surface, the ship can accelerate up to 500km per hour.

The WIG ship in question is 77m long and 65m wide. It is capable of carrying 100 tons of cargo, which supports the government’s expectation that it will greatly contribute to the trade in the region.

The WIG ship was first developed for military purposes in Russia in the 1960s, and has been the subject of research in the U.S. and Japan. The 100 ton WIG ship the Korean government is currently planning will be the largest ever civilian WIG ship

The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries will launch a project team to implement the plan this coming September and initiate development of the ship starting next January, investing 170 billion won (85 billion won in government budget and 85 billion won in private capital).