IMPROVED AIRFOIL BOAT
There is no definite answer to the question, what an airfoil boat is – whether it is a flying ship or a sailing plane. Even Rostislav Alekseyev, a well known Russian designer, the founder of the airfoil boat technology, does not know the answer himself. Vladimir Kirillovyh – the chairman of the Russian Central Design Bureau, believes that airfoil boats are the low-flying machines, which use the effect of a screen. A screen – a large reflecting surface – is necessary to make such a plane take off. A screen can be a water surface, a snow field or any other smooth ground surface.
The paradox is that the idea of such an aircraft was born during the Soviet era, but they were not developed for some reason, although seemed that they had would have a bight future. Dmitry Ustinov, who was in charge of the defense industry in 1961, arrived to see the tests of the first airfoil boat SM-1. The senior official was so surprised with that project that he managed to convince the leadership of the country to launch the series production of the plane for army purposes. In 1962 the Central Design Bureau was working on a battle amphibian plane, weighing 450 tons. Two years after the scientists were working on another amphibian airfoil machine for commandos – T-1. A Caspian monster amphibian was ready in 1966. This machine was 100 meters long and could develop the speed of 520 kilometers per hour. In spite of such a big size, an airfoil machine can flying very low above the water and can not be noticed by the radars or ABM systems of the enemy. Vladimir Kirillovyh remembers a story about it: “The testing flight of the Caspian Monster above the water was fixed by an American spy satellite. About 30 NASA and Pentagon generals studied the photographs very attentively. Twenty-seven of them claimed it was a fake that the Russian were bluffing, and only three NASA specialists asserted, the Russians had developed a principally new and very efficient weapon.
Coral is constructing a new type of airfoil boat – for commercial usage. It takes off from water and flies over the water surface at the altitude of 0,5 – 3 m, speed 150 – 700 km/h, may be based in any bay, go out on the bank on its own. Airfoil boat has low fuel consumption and thus transportation cost ten times less than planes. It is specifically prospective for cargo-and-passenger transportation between oceanic islands.