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Title:US NAVY's secret weapon - American Ekranoplan PAR-WIG with a deadly cargo

For your chance to win the Telsa Model S Plaid and support a great cause, enter at www.omaze.com/fae Discord: discord.gg/WXb565P9nQ New Channel: /channel/UCD3cl0MmX6fGZzeAHt4JWJA Join this channel to get access to perks: youtube.com/channel/UCpM4zrZ9c_apiEj6CApj2yw/join The USSR Ekranoplan, or better known as the Caspin Sea Monster, was a giant ground effect aircraft that could hover above the seas. It was as big, used freighting new physics seemingly beyond then-current technology, And terrified the west. The United States, in a cold war fury, didn’t want to be left behind, and came up with their own version of the Ekranoplan! It was called the PAR-WIG, seating up to 20 crew members, and had a range of over 2000 nautical miles. But its secret was that it wouldn’t fire anti-ship rockets but rather, nuclear trident missiles as part of a strategic deterrent. This is the story of the American-made ekranoplan! The United States never willingly lagged behind the USSR with any technology; WIG aircraft were no different. The David W. Taylor Naval Ship Research and Development Center in Bethesda, Maryland, produced a PAR-WIG prototype design in 1977. The aircraft was designed for sea control missions, as well as potentially transoceanic passenger and cargo transport. The ultimate goal of the American PAR-WIG plane, however, was as a strategic deterrent, since it was designed to carry four GM-96A Trident I (C-4) sea-launched ballistic missiles as its payload. Importantly, these missiles would have to be fired while the aircraft was resting on the ocean surface, not while still in flight. The American PAR-WIG design included a chubby and stubby reversed clipped-delta main wing with flexible downward endplates. These were designed to trap a steady, constant air cushion for the aircraft. The engine had thrust diverters for take-off which would direct jet exhaust towards the underside of the wing leading edge. This would help build up the air cushion under the wings needed for lift-off. Four of the aircraft’s engines would shut down during cruise flying, leaving two jet engines to drive all four fans for maximum fuel economy. The upsides of the American PAR-WIG was that it could fly out 2000 nautical and settle anywhere on the sea, with intermittent sorties out at sea before returning to base. In theory, the PAR-WIG would be too fast to be stalked by ships or submarines and too far out at sea to be attacked by conventional military aircraft. Furthermore, it was thought the aircraft could be fitted with a high number of smaller and more nimble cruise missiles, although this would mean it having to get close to enemy territory, so its potential as a cruise missile carrier was scrapped. Here are some interesting stats regarding the U.S.’s PAR-WIG plane: Number of crew: 20 A span of approximately 146 feet or 44.5 metres Total area of 10,225 square feet or 3116.5 metres Gross weight of 2,090,000 pounds or 948,008 kilograms Empty weight when unequipped of 627,000 pounds or 284,402 kilograms Cruise speed of 180 to 330 knots Maximum speed of 400 knots Cruise altitude of 12 feet or 3.65 metres Maximum operating altitude of 16 feet or 4.87 metres Finally, the American PAR-WIG has an intended radius of 2000 nautical miles with possibility of a 10-day loiter out at sea plus ten 100 nautical mile dashes. So why was it never built? Honestly, its because the United States had no need for one. These kinds of large wing-in-ground-effect craft, while impressive, really serve no military purpose and provide no major military advantage for the US Armed Forces to possess. Aside from the internal Great Lakes, there are no major bodies of water within the United States of America where such a craft could be readily employed and no need to position strategic or tactical assets there. Both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans are covered by the US Navy with the form of carrier battle groups and submarine fleets, which provide portable power projection for undersea, surface and air operations virtually anywhere around the globe. In the early 1980's, there was a US Navy plan to conduct flight tests using the Hughes Hercules aircraft, to study ground effects. It wasn't expressly designed as an ekranoplan, but its enormous wings benefitted from ground effects (the goose never made it out of ground effects on its one flight). Sadly, that plan never came to be, and we missed the opportunity to see that giant back in the air. In summary, Large wing-in-ground-effect aircraft do not provide a significant increase in America’s power projection when compared with that.


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