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04-30-12, 12:33 PM
04-30-12, 07:00 PM
This is fairly old technology. They fly very well in ground effect and not at all above it. They work by not allowing tip vortices to develop and climb above the wing, and to a lesser extent by allowing air beneath the wing to compress slightly. Lippisch developed what have probably been the best small-sized ones, and the Soviets had the Ekranoplans-- the Caspian Sea Monsters-- that were envisioned as really fast PT boats.
Lately, the Chinese and the Iranians have some squadrons of these, to be used for coastal patrols. They make a certain amount of sense, and fill a niche that the military has needed for some time. But being more plane than boat, and given the speeds they travel at, they do require more training to operate safely than your medium power runabout.