An ekranoplan is a high-speed vehicle flying within the range of an aerodynamic screen at a relatively low (up to several meters) height above the surface of water (or snow or ice) – the development is not new. But it seems to have got a second life thanks to the Singaporean company ST Engineering. Operation of their Airfish-8 (“Flying Fish”) ekranoplan model may begin as early as next year.

The Airfish-8 has large, downward-swinging triangular wings, a T-shaped tail, and two V-8 gasoline engines. The device is operated by a crew of two pilots – in addition to them, up to 8 passengers or one ton of cargo can still be accommodated on board. The “flying fish” moored to the pier sideways, and takes off like a regular seaplane. Having reached the take-off speed, the Airfish-8 is fixed at a height of 0.6 to 7 m, and the generated lift provides a flight speed of about 170 km/h – slightly less than that of a seaplane, but much more than that of many naval vessels.

To commercialize the Airfish-8, ST Engineering formed a joint venture with Peluca — ST Engineering AirX. The first ten ekranoplans have already been ordered by Eurasia Mobility Solutions; They are expected in 2025.

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