SeaAir Craft WIG technology and design
wing in ground effect

WIG Conceptual Design Studies

SC-122T 150-Ton PAR-WIG Concept

SC-38T Ferry Concept 3-View

SC-38T In A Banked Turn
(click picture for larger image)

SC-38T USCG Configuration
(click picture for larger image)

SC-38T At Anchor

Simulation: Captain's View

A number of concepts for commercial, governmental, and private WIGS were investigated by Seair during 1996-98. Both conventional and powered lift (PAR or SES takeoff) variants were investigated. The SC-38T WIG ferry /utility transport shown on this page was one of the non-PAR concepts investigated for IMO Type A and B WIGS from 4 to 30 seats in size.

The SC-38T is a multi-use craft. It was sized to carry a pilot, and 9 passengers in a "commuter" version or 6 passengers + up to 750 lbs of baggage / cargo as a "6-Pack" configuration. At rest, the wing serves as a walk-on deck for passenger loading. With an alternative "RV-style" interior the -38T could be outfitted by private owners for high-tech cruising ---imagine Seattle to Glacier Bay, Alaska in two days! Twin-engined reliability, 6-hour endurance, and the ability to operate in 20 kt winds and 4 ft waves make it suitable for SAR, customs patrol, or island ambulance duty.

Type B WIG craft can skim well above the waves, so high cruise speeds can be maintained with better comfort than any other type of high speed marine vehicle. They can also takeoff and land in larger waves than Type A WIG's and can skim over sandbars, floating ice, logs and debris. The -38T's floating draft is less than 2ft fully loaded, so it can operate from shallow bays or rivers. A "ruggedized" version would also be capable of operating from flat expanses of ice or snow.

WIG craft are very "environmentally friendly". The high energy efficiency of WIG's allows the 4.25-ton SC-32T to achieve five times the gas mileage of an equivalent sized deep-V hull even while cruising at 60 knots! Low noise, low emissions, no submerged prop, and zero wake (while skimming) make the -38T well suited for ecotourism or scientific access to sensitive remote areas. The high fuel efficiency gives the -38T an unrefueled radius of action of 160 NMi (in still air).

Dollarwise, WIG craft are generally more expensive to build than a conventional boat (but considerably cheaper than a seaplane or helicopter of similar capability). The high fuel efficiency, high seat-miles-per-hour productivity, and low maintenance actually offset the higher initial price. USCG and other regulatory bodies have agreed to license Type B WIG's as boats rather than aircraft ---the WIG captain, taxi operator, mechanic, etc. do not need FAA certification. The engines are marineized GM V-8's so parts and maintenance are easily obtained in any part of the world. The construction is of corrosion-resistant aluminum and composite materials.

Simulation: SC-38T Fast Cruise

Simulation: Tail Camera

* Digital animations of the operation of the SC-38T were created in-house using data from piloted and batch processed engineering simulations, 3D CAD solid models, and detailed performance calculations.

Material on this website is copyrighted ©2000 by C.P.Nelson, Seair Craft Inc.

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