Winged-boat Aircraft Carrier for Commercial Transportation

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While aircraft carriers were initially developed for military service, there may be commercial application for fast wing-in-ground effect vessels designed to carry an onboard payload was well as an aircraft. 

Introduction

There are military transport aircraft that due to their weight, are required to take off from runways carrying minimal fuel compliment. However, once the large aircraft is airborne at its cruising altitude, a military tanker aircraft flying ahead of it extends a fuel line to transfer a massive volume of fuel to the airborne heavy transport plane. There may be scope to apply such a precedent to heavy lift wing-in-ground effect transport vessels. Modern computer control could theoretically guide a flying aircraft to touch down on a pad built on the deck of a fast-moving winged boat.

The laden winged boat would depart from a seaplane runway and accelerate to lift-off, perhaps to an elevation of 150 meters (500 feet) until it is away from shore where it can drop down to a cruising elevation a few meters above water, at its cruising speed. At that point in time, a computer guided aircraft that departed from a coastal airport would touch down on its deck. The high cruising speed of the winged boat would allow it to carry the additional weight, with minimal reduction in flight elevation.

Scale of Vessel

A winged boat that lifts off from and touches down on coastal seaplane runways can be built to much greater size and weight of commercial freight aircraft, one drawback being the restrictions on landing weight at majority of large commercial airports that have restricted length of runway. There may be scope to design multiple wings such as the tandem layout into large multi-hull winged boats, to increase payload carrying capacity. The use of hydrofoils would assist during lift-off from extended length seaplane runways, perhaps up to five times the length of a paved commercial airport runway.

While the comparatively short airport runway would require rapid acceleration and a steep climbing angle from a freight aircraft, an extended length of seaplane runway would allow for a slower rate of acceleration and much gentler climbing angle to comparatively tiny flight elevation. Such factors allow for the winged boat to be built to

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