A pretty impressive design as well as a nicely done website with an even nicer gallery of pictures BUT what in the world could one do with one of these.? I guess if you have the money to burn then great BUT it just does not seem practical to "want" one of these..... I would tend to think that the many limitations would probably be enough of drawback that would keep this craft from gaining popoularity here in the states BUT who knows...
(maybee Coops could buy a few and offer a new 250 hour "right seat gig" as a bonus at 1/2 the price of the 1900 program)
I didn't see any pictures close enough to identify the instruments; they all appeared rather small. However, an altimeter is important in a seaplane in many cases due to the inability to gage height above the water. I would think a radar altimeter would be especially useful in this application.
The design appears to have a lot of merit. It's not an airplane; it's a boat with reduced drag. Interisland shuttle or ferry, ambulance, etc. It would also have some interesting application to marshy or snowy areas, ice, etc. Don't be too quick to knock down new technology, especially when aviation has been lagging for years.
Over the years several designs have come along which do what this design is intended to do, abeit for slightly different applications. I think it's a good idea; only time will tell if it finds acceptance. It has the advantage of getting the hull out of the water in the event of submerged articles, can be relocated quickly, never has to worry about a reef, and it doesn't sit in one spot long enough to be hit by surfacing US submarines. That's got to be a good thing!
The Soviets made very large craft of this nature. They even had some that used jets. They stay in ground effect and take advantage of the reduced drag to be efficient. I don't know that jet engines at low altitudes help in the efficiency category.
Is it a boat with reduced drag or is it a seaplane with reduced lift. We'll let the Coast Guard and the FAA battle it out.
It sure looks like an airplane to me. The bridge looks like a flight deck to me. Interesting, though.
I remember building a model of a ground-effect boat around 1960. It had some kind of fan contraption in the center that lifted it off the surface. It didn't look like an airplane, but more like hovercraft. The model had one of those little flashlight-battery-powered motors that drove the fan. Supposedly this was a model of a hovercraft used in Europe or something.
Actually, takeoff is enhanced by rough water; it helps break the surface tension and drag against the hull. Conversely glassy water presents certain hazards and dangers when flying seaplanes, or in this case, aerial boats.
I would hate to see it try to do a tight turn. Cant imagine going that fast over rough water and not worrying about accidently hitting the water with the nose or wing first. With swells lets say in the carrabean being around 4-5 feet 8-10 seconds apart (just an example as the swells do change from hardly anything to very intense), it would seem to me that as the craft tries to stay above the water in ground effect, it would eventually oscilate into the water. I guess that I am just a sceptic. Imagine being out in the ocean and a storm brews and the waves pick up before you can get to safety. Ouch!