Joint German companies Fischer Flugmechanik and Airfoil Development (FF/AD) plan to develop a 20-passenger wing-in-ground effect (WIG) vehicle.

Hypercraft Associates, marketing the 90kt (170km/h) HW-20 for ferry, troop transport and coastal patrol use, says the all-composite craft with a range of 500km (311 miles) could be in service within two years of launch.

Classified as a form of hovercraft, WIG craft have lower development costs than aircraft. The increased aerodynamic efficiency afforded by operating in ground effect can reduce direct operating costs by half.

Flightship Ground Effect of Cairns, Australia, is developing a 40-seat WIG machine and claims to have secured 19 options for the $5 million craft.

Source: Flight International