Aquas, a flying ship that moves passengers and goods at a speed of up to 200 km / h

RDC Aqualines has announced its future project to move the design and manufacture of its Aquas ekranoplan to the Basque Country, Spain. Its Aquas ekranoplan is a versatile multi-purpose vehicle designed for transporting passengers and goods over short distances in coastal areas.

Classified as a wing-in-the-ground (WIG) marine craft, the Aquas uses ground effect to hover above the waterline. This means that it may look like an airplane but, since it cannot perform free flight as such, it is considered a ship. The compression of the air produced between the ground and the ekranoplan wing increases its lift, and when it reaches a speed of 110 km / h (68 mph), the aircraft manages to hover over the water.

When it reaches a speed of 110 km / h, the device manages to glide over the water. Credit: RDC Aqualines

The 22.5-meter (74-foot) long craft could be perfect for carrying up to 12 passengers or cargo and two pilots over short distances. Its advanced performance in terms of safety, comfort and seakeeping will offer people a unique experience.

The “flying ship” is supposed to be a 100% electric and hydrogen hybrid, which makes it environmentally friendly. A 600bhp electric-hydrogen hybrid powertrain will spin all three propellers – two small on either side of the nose and a larger, central one at the rear – and retractable winglets will improve aerodynamics. It has a top speed of 200 km / h (125 mph), with a cruising speed of 185 km / h (115 mph) and a range of 600 km (approximately 375 miles) with a full charge.

The flying ship moves passengers and cargo at a speed of up to 200 km / h
The flying ship moves passengers and goods at a speed of up to 200 km / h. Credit: RDC Aqualines

These types of seaplanes will mainly be used for passenger transport but could also improve search and rescue operations at sea, thanks to the advantage of offering versatile loading and unloading. This versatile flying vessel concept was inspired by the new needs and demands of potential operators around the world.

History, however, shows that – like everything – ground-effect marine craft also have their drawbacks. The vessel hovering just over the water is not able to tilt too much during flight (so as not to hit the water), so any change in flight direction should be planned early enough as it will be executed. takes enough time.

RDC Aqualines boasts of being a multinational company specializing in the design, development and future production of a new generation of maritime transport vessels, primarily using ground effect technology. The ‘flying boat’ as they call it comes in various sizes, from a 3 seater bike to an ekranoplan type bicycle, a hydrofoil speedboat and the ekranoplan type ferry described above.

According to the company, the first “Aquas” ships will be available for high speed travel in 2024.


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Cynthia D. Farfan