SeaAir Craft WIG technology and design
wing in ground effect
Personal and Recreational WIG Craft

"SC-14" Single-Seat WIG

"SC-19" 2 or 3-Seat WIG

SC-19 Dynamically Scaled Model

One, Two, and Three Seat Recreational WIG's :
After spending several years doing our "homework", Seair used the engineering tools, methods, and data we have accumulated to do more detailed design work on small WIG craft for personal transportation and recreation.

Although these craft have much of the utility of a small seaplane, they are actually IMO Type B WIG water-craft that do not require a pilot license to operate and do not have to be maintained by a certified aircraft mechanic. These factors, plus the fact that an emergency "landing strip" is always available a few feet below, allows significant simplifications over aircraft and large cost savings relative to a conventional seaplane of similar payload. Cost to build is on the same order as that of the smallest homebuilt kit aircraft, and only slightly more than conventional speedboats or recreational hovercraft.

While operating on water, these craft can be used much like an Airboat. At higher speeds (30-45 mph) the craft will lift free of the water surface and skim along in ground effect.

The pilot regulates the cruise height and speed by using a combination of tail trim and throttle setting. Full throttle is normally used only for takeoffs so the engine duty cycle is well suited to automotive type powerplants. The loss of lift and increase in drag experienced out of ground effect, plus the ducted fan's natural decrease of thrust with forward speed serves to curtail the craft's ability to sustain flight at altitudes greater than about one wingspan above the water.

A combination of shallow banking and yawing is used to provide minimum radius turn capability in ground effect.

"SC-24" 4-Seat WIG

"SC-24" Folded For Transport

"SC-24" Stowed On A Large Yacht

Four, Five, and Six Seat Personal Transportation WIG's: Engineering data accumulated by Seair in studying small recreational WIG's can be easily "scaled" to larger sizes for more serious transportation use. Seair has done conceptual studies of single-engined WIG's of up to eight seats, based on the same general arrangement as the smaller SC-19. More detailed preliminary design work has also been done on a four seat personal WIG called "SC-24". A preliminary CAD definition of the SC-24 design has been used to create the 3D solids used in the digital renderings shown on this page.

As with the smaller Seair designs, the wings and tail assembly of the SC-24 fold to allow road transportation or storage. The overall dimensions of the SC-24 make it compact enough to stow on large yachts. With proper lift equipment the 1700lb craft can be unfolded and lowered into the water for rapid local transportation or sightseeing. Expected performance of the SC-24 includes a range capability of 140 nautical miles (with 20 minute reserve fuel), and a payload of nearly 1000 pounds. The maximum still air speed is near 100 miles per hour (75-80 knots) and the normal cruise speed is estimated to be about 55 knots. At cruising speed the fuel economy is 18-20 statute miles per gallon. Even higher fuel economies should be achievable under optimal conditions at slightly slower flying speeds. The normal cruise height is 2 to 6 feet above the mean wave surface. Based on model test data, the SC-24 should be capable of operating over three to four foot waves and in winds of up to 15-18 knots (when flown by an properly trained experienced skipper).

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

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