Aerocon Wingship - a flying ship with 20 rocket engines and a range of almost 20,000 km, which was never developed due to crazy costs

At the end of the 20th century, the United States worked on the creation of the Aerocon Wingship flying ship, but due to crazy

costs, the project had to be closed.

What is known

The ekranoplan could make a revolution in aviation,if the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency had completed the development of the Aerocon Wingship. The flying ship was supposed to have a weight of 400 tons and a length of more than 170 m. It was designed to transport cargo weighing up to 1500 tons or carry 1000 passengers.

Aerocon Wingship wanted to equip 20 rocketwing engines. According to the calculations of engineers, the cruising range of an ekranoplan would be almost 20,000 km. This would allow the aircraft to be used to travel almost anywhere in the world.


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Aerocon Wingship designers were inspired bySoviet ekranoplan "Caspian Monster" (pictured above). It was available in one copy weighing 240 tons, which could reach speeds of up to 500 km / h.

Steven Hooker, Chief DesignerAerocon Wingship was confident that he could bring the project to life. According to his calculations, an American ekranoplane could carry passengers across the Atlantic at a ticket price of $72-73.


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The initial cost of the ekranoplan was $600million, and the military wanted to order 13 ships worth $15 billion. However, the Office for Advanced Research Projects had to abandon the development of the Aerocon Wingship due to huge costs and cancel the billion-dollar project in the 90s of the XX century.

Source: Interesting Engineering

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