9
$\begingroup$

Could long, aftermarket hydrofoils be added to the water-skids of a plane (like this Cessna with pontoons or smaller)

enter image description here
Cessna 208 Caravan

not designed to have a hydro foil, to increase its ability to land on choppier water?

In theory, the pilot would first enter the water with the skids, clear of the chop, then stall the hydro foil similar to stall landing a plane thus giving the plane a soft or possibly vertical landing.

enter image description here
Grumman JRF-5 with hydrofoils

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ The chances of getting the angle of attack wrong when it hits the water the first time seems like it would rule this out. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Aug 2 at 21:38
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Would you please edit your post to include source attribution for your images. $\endgroup$ – FreeMan Aug 3 at 11:07
  • $\begingroup$ @FreeMan It took me some time to find them off Google Images, but I'll try to find a website that has these planes. $\endgroup$ – Justintimeforfun Aug 3 at 16:20
14
$\begingroup$

It's been done. David Thurston designed a system for the Lake LA-4 that was purported to allow it to land on 5ft waves. It may have been a bit of a handful (the Bucaneer is a demanding airplane on its normal hull) and was crashed by someone who took it for a spin without Thurston's authorization, and that was the end of that.

enter image description here

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Nice find on the plane. I'm looking for something or way to make the work for a much smaller and cheaper aircraft. $\endgroup$ – Justintimeforfun Aug 3 at 4:39
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Justintimeforfun: But where do you find a smaller & cheaper airplane that will float? $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Aug 3 at 5:42
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ As soon as that hydrofoil touches the water you're going to get a significant pitch down from the moment arm, I can imagine that would make it challenging. $\endgroup$ – GdD Aug 3 at 9:25
  • $\begingroup$ @GdD right, especially in a plane with such high center of mass. But I think this technology could be quite promising for electric planes, with batteries in the keel making it more stable. If we can even computer-control the hydrofoils' attitude, better yet. $\endgroup$ – leftaroundabout Aug 3 at 10:59
  • $\begingroup$ So you want to add lots of weight on a long moment arm @leftaroundabout? How's that going to help stability? $\endgroup$ – GdD Aug 3 at 11:24
5
$\begingroup$

I would make a serious study of this man's work.

Rostislav Alexeyev's "day job" was the design of large hydrofoil ferries, such as the Raketa carrying over 60 people, in the 1950s. This (image from linked article) and its successors are probably the most successful series of hydrofoils in the world.

enter image description here

He went on to design a series of Ekranoplans, ground effect flying vehicles. (pictured, A-90 Orlyonok, from here

enter image description here

These, despite being designed at his Central Hydrofoil Design Bureau, all seem to have used conventional stepped hulls like flying boats or seaplane floats.

He is probably the best person to tell you why.

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ The most interesting fact are theses plane are more efficient than modern airliners and hydro foils could allow the a ground effect plane to clear swells in the ocean. It is that rouge wave that makes this dangerous in open seas. $\endgroup$ – Justintimeforfun Aug 3 at 16:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.