AirFish 8 is a Type A-class wing-in-ground (WIG) marine craft being developed by Wigetworks.

The WIG marine craft is specifically designed to take-off and land on water, avoiding the need for a runway. The vessel has been designed for logistics, transport, tourism and maritime patrol operations.

AirFish 8 WIG marine craft development

The first prototype WIG marine craft, AF8-001, was originally built by Airfoil Development (AFD) in the 1990s. The prototype was acquired and transferred to Wigetworks in 2004.

Refurbished by Wigetworks, the prototype underwent extensive sea trials in Singapore in 2007 and Thailand in 2008. The prototype was accepted for entry into Lloyd’s Register Class in April 2010 and was awarded 100A1 WIG, MCH TYPE A Passenger class certification by Lloyd’s Register in August 2010.

The maiden flight of the first pre-production vessel was conducted in October 2015, while the second pre-production marine craft made its first flight in November 2016.

Final design of the AirFish 8 WIG marine craft is expected to be completed in the second half of 2018.

AirFish 8 design details

AirFish 8 is made of carbon fibre reinforced plastic or sandwich composite materials. It is based on Dr Alexander Martin Lippisch’s reverse delta wing design. Its design standards comply with International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations.

The main fuselage of the AirFish 8 is similar to that of conventional aircraft. The crew section is positioned in the front, while the passenger and baggage compartments are located in the middle and rear respectively.

“The power-plant enables the marine craft to attain a maximum speed of 106k and a cruise speed of 80k, travelling at up to 7m above sea level.”

AirFish 8 has an overall length of 17.2m, height of 3.5m and wingspan of 15m.

It has a low waterborne draught of 0.55m, which enables operations and berthing in shallow waters close to the shoreline with minimal support or infrastructure.

Cabin details

The WIG marine craft can carry two crew members and up to eight passengers. It has a 360kg baggage capacity. The cabin is 4m-long and 1.4m-wide and can be installed with a six or eight-seat layout according to customer specification.

Seats are arranged in two rows, separated by a space leading to the luggage area at the rear.

The main access door is located between the crew and passenger seats. An emergency exit hatch is located opposite.

Engine and performance of the WIG craft

AirFish 8 is powered by a pair of General Motors LS3 V8 engines burning unleaded gasoline. Each engine has a maximum power output of 500hp, coupled to a four-bladed reversible variable pitch propeller.

In standard configuration, the engine uses approximately 70l of fuel per hour in typical flight conditions.

The power-plant enables the marine craft to attain a maximum speed of 106k and a cruise speed of 80k, travelling at up to 7m above sea level. The WIG marine craft can travel up to 300nm without any additional supplies.

The turning radius of the AirFish 8 is approximately 160m in ground effect mode and 100m in displacement mode.

AirFish 8 requires a 500m take-off distance and a 300m-500m landing distance. It has a maximum take-off weight of 5,550kg and can carry 1,000kg of useful load and 200kg of fuel on-board.