Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Ground Effect

  1. Apr 20, 2005 #1
    Hey all, I was wondering if it would be possible to make a craft that used specially designed rotors or props placed under a craft that were made to take advantage of the ground effect (ie a large surface area, endcaps on them and so on) as long as stability was taken care of by way of auto correction of airflow or a gyroscope, it would probably be more efficent than a copter, as long as it stayed around one diameter of its rotor above the ground. Any thoughts or ideas on how to make this more of a reality? I may be looking into makeing a model to get all the kinks out if I feel I have enough data and good ideas to back it up. Thanks --David
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 20, 2005 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    You mean a hovercraft?
  4. Apr 20, 2005 #3
    yes, except without the use of a skirt. Its more like a helicopter with the rotors on the bottom. But by taking advantage of the ground effect, I think efficency could be boosted by 30% or so
  5. Apr 21, 2005 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Sure it's possible. You would be taking advantage of in ground effect, but that drastically limits you on what you can do. You wouldn't be able to lift heavy loads, you really would still have the same mobility as a car because you would be terrain limited.

    Is it possible? Sure. Would it work? Sure. Would it be easy? No.
  6. Apr 21, 2005 #5
    Well, I would agree with you on the car mobility, except that it would also be able to hover over water as well. The point of this would not be to create a true flying machine, only to make a different type of WIG (wing in ground effect vehicle) that does not have to have its entire body in motion to remain in flight. Thanks for the comments though, they are helping me to ask the right questions to improve my design and my goals. On that note, does anyone have any formulas or a place I can find them for myself, on ground effect specificly? Thanks
  7. Apr 21, 2005 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

  8. Apr 21, 2005 #7
    ah yes very cool, The Europlane or something of the sort I believe it was called. it is impressive. But as you can see it is a fixed wing design, a modification on an airplane as it were, What do you think of a rotory craft based on the ground effect modifications? (i.e. a modification on a helicopter)
  9. Apr 22, 2005 #8
    Anyway, I know it may be difficult, but if its all the same to you guys, I would still enjoy working some of the problems out, so if anyone can help direct me to some equations specificly for ground effect, I would greatly appreciate it, thanks
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Ground Effect