Chinese plane skims the ground at 180mph

Chinese scientists have developed a “Wing-In-Ground” (WIG) aircraft which can fly long distances just a few feet above the sea surface, state media has said.

The plane can fly as low as half a metre (1 ft 7 ins) off the surface, hitting speeds of up to 300 km (180 miles) per hour and can carry up to 4 tonnes on takeoff.

“It’s as safe as ships, although five or six times faster,” associate professor Xu Zhengyu, vice-president of the research team at Tongji University in Shanghai, was quoted as saying.

“And it can carry much more weight than ordinary planes while costing half as much and using half as much fuel.”

Wing In Ground effect refers to the reduction in drag experienced by an aircraft as it approaches a height approximately twice a wingspan’s length off the ground or other level surface such as the sea.

Xu said the plane could be flown for military use and border control.

Source:  Daily Mail

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