Virtual Tourism

Virtual tourism, google maps mashup, google video

Chinese Low Flying Plane

Last year some virtual tourists thought they had found a Chinese version of the Ekranoplan. An ekranoplan (literally "screen plane") is a vehicle resembling an aircraft but that operates solely on the principle of ground effect.

'Ground effect' enables planes to achieve a high lift/drag ratio. Wings traveling close to the water (or ground) feel an extra lift by a cushion of air compressed underneath them. This enables the planes to carry extremely heavy loads while using significantly less fuel

On Tuesday, scientists from Tongji University in Shanghai announced that they had indeed designed a new model of the famous but largely unknown "wing-in-ground" (WIG) plane, Reuters reported. The plane, which can carry up to 4 metric tons (nearly 9,000 pounds), flies just 18 inches over the surface of the water, yet manages speeds of up to 180 mph.

To get a better idea you can watch a video of an ekranoplan and see the Chinese Low Flying Plane on Google Maps