Timon Singh

Hydrogen-Powered "Flying Yacht" Based On the Ekranoplan

by , 01/25/11
filed under: Green Transportation

flying yacht, ekranoyacht, ekranoplane, ekranoplan, airplane, luxury yacht, concept, design, hydrogen yacht, australian design awards, Jaron Dickson

Australian designer Jaron Dickson has come up with a concept for a hydrogen-powered, flying yacht. If that wasn’t cool enough, the yacht is based on the legendary Soviet super-vehicle the Ekranoplan. As a result, this cool little boat, which has been shortlisted for an Australian Design Award, is called the EkranoYacht – read on for a look!

flying yacht, ekranoyacht, ekranoplane, ekranoplan, airplane, luxury yacht, concept, design, hydrogen yacht, australian design awards, Jaron Dickson

For those of you not familiar with the Ekranoplan, it was a massive vehicle conceived in Scandinavia but realized by the Soviets during the Cold War. Essentially half plane, half boat, the Ekranoplan would ‘skim’ across the water (or land) on short wings using the ‘ground effect’. This allowed the vehicle to ‘fly’ just above the ground on of a cushion of high-pressure air created by the aerodynamic interaction between the wings and the surface. The Soviets design a massive 550-ton Ekranoplan that could transport vehicles and troops at an a stunning 450mph – all while remaining up to 66 feet over the water. Unsurprisingly, it earned the nickname “The Caspian Sea Monster”. Unfortunately, their production fell with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Ok, science and history lesson over! Back to the EkranoYacht!

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1 Comment

  1. Joel Pucchi January 28, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    Its easy to make CG renders that have neat flowing lines even though aerodynamically they are disasters and utterly non functional.

    Hydrogen… such a lame “magical solution” -word these days. In late 90s every second student were “designing” hand held gadgets for “virtual nomads” – you know phone, pda, gps and all that in one neat package. All, most of these exercises achieved were being compilations of hip features (invented by others). Nothing fresh in itself or the way they were tied together. Every cell phone company would have already had made one if the compactness and price of the tech would have been ready. The designs offered nothing new or fresh.
    Same way now everyone draws vehicles or other products that are powered by hydrogen and solar and bio. YEay! great – except the student didn’t have to do anything except say that this design is using the most fanciest non polluting technology. Unfortunately that fancy tech is not ready and often fundamentally flawed. How much of a fuel cell would you need to power a flying home? You would need literally tens of thousands of horsepowers to make a house sized craft like that fly. Hydrogen needs to be made with energy from somewhere else wasting it is like wasting any other fuel.

    Environmental pleasure WIG? HA I say.

    Now if it was pure fiction and The pleasure Wig of James Bond villain in 2015 – then sure I can appreciate it much much more – after all aesthetically it IS very cool and the renderings are high quality too.

    However if we have to judge it even loosely in the real world sense it has huge glaring faults:
    -Afterburner jets powered by fuel cells? How on earth does that work? The renderings clearly have jet engines with flames on ends – that is not electrically powered motor.
    -How does that wide thing act as a normal yacht again?
    -Wide open floor plan is hip but horrible idea in a craft that might get shaken in storm or hitting a wave.
    -There is a reason why the real ekranoplan had the motors in the front – they were creating sort of hovercraft effect by blowing air under the wings.
    -what keeps the nose elevated? Even non aero person can see that the lift is all in the rear of the craft.

    More importantly – if we accept this as pure wild exercise – what relation does this have to any real life problems? What problem is it trying to solve or get us closer to a solution? How can 400ph flying home be even remotely considered “environmental” – even if its exhaust was rose petals it would be horrendous disservice to environment to use resources to build one for 6 people.

    It is scifi – and should not be awarded in real life design world. We need true innovation. I can draw a neat flying car and say it uses hydrogen and takes people into exotic places to learn the beauty of other culures with ease, it also makes commuting for modern people fun and fast. But what would such thing achieve? Nothing besides being a styling exercise with no connection to real world problems that might actually benefit from clever designers.

    It is pretty and the presentation is very nice.

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