Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
keithisco

Airborne Giant with 150 metre wingspan

8 posts in this topic

A concept aircraft under development at Boeing's Phantom Works R&D unit, the massive Pelican would have a wingspan of more than 150 m, carry up to 1400 tons of cargo - that's equivalent to 17 M-1 main battle tanks - would need 76 tires to cater for the weight and be almost twice as big as the largest aircraft currently in existence, the Russian Antonov An-225. The potential applications for such a huge vehicle capable of high-speed, long-range flights goes well beyond military cargo and troop deployment. The Pelican could be used as an airborne platform for re-usable space-vehicles and could also enter the commercial worldwide freight market currently dominated by shipping

Source (Gizmag): http://www.gizmag.com/go/1511/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, interesting. It's not a traditional aircraft. Instead it would rely on "ground effect" to stay aloft, meaning it would be a ground skimmer - or more likely a wave skimmer.

Like the Soviet's Ekranoplan.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bet someone will try to argue that a prototype of this has already been flying around for years, and it can account for every single UFO report there's ever been. :D

(Just a small correction for Gizmag: Antonov is Ukrainian, not Russian. That might be a slightly sensitive issue at present. :blush: )

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Odd 'concept' for a basic design idea that's been around since the 1960s

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the references to the Ekranoplan (also known as the Caspian Sea Monster) and to general "Wing in Ground Effect" (W.I.G.) aircraft is entirely correct. The conceptual design from Boeing is for something on a much grander scale, using efficient turbo - props, and lightweight structural materials (Carbon Composites). The W.I.G. concept is actually incredibly efficient in terms of thrust over weight, but only at the lower altitudes (essentially below 100ft - dependent on the chord of the wing) - they can all fly at much higher altitudes but the trade off is in much reduced efficiency. The real breakthrough in this type of technology is to find a way of transforming the control surfaces in - flight such that they are more amenable to changing their flight ceiling quickly and safely.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cool. Twice as large as the Antonov An-225. That's big.

I've been watching videos of the Antonov An-225.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Antonov An-225 is indeed a very cool plane !

The An-225 is probably about as big as a plane can get and still be economically viable, and the only reason why the An-225 is viable is because it was essentially free. The Soviet Union had allready paid the development and production cost !

The Pelican has not been in development since 2002, so it is not an active project.

A wing-in-ground effect plane is only really useful over water, making tight restrictions on its versatility and if you are going to transport something heavy over the oceans, what is wrong with a good old ship ? Ships are slower, but they are also much cheaper.

The former Soviet Union invested heavily in wing-in-ground effect planes, but they stopped when it became clear that it just wasn't worth it..

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

a bit like Howard Hughes' "Spruce Goose", with even more ambition, isn't it...?

HighFlight-SpruceGoose2.jpg

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.