TECHKNOW: Things to come ... Pelican planes

TECHKNOW: Things to come ... Pelican planes - The US Army wants to be able to deploy five divisions anywhere in the world within a month, but it can't. Boeing is trying to make this possible.

by James Woudhuysen, James@Woudhuysen.com
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

The US Army wants to be able to deploy five divisions anywhere in the world within a month, but it can't. Boeing is trying to make this possible.

Flying pelicans skim the water's surface, exploiting an aerodynamic phenomenon called ground effect - the angle of the airflow leaving the bird's wings is reduced and wingtip vortices are suppressed, cutting drag.

Boeing's Pelican cargo plane could exploit the same effect. As long as an American football field and 500ft wide, Pelican could fly 17 M-1 battle tanks on a single sortie of 10,000 nautical miles at just 20 feet above water and at more than 10 times the speed of a container ship. Pelican's control systems would adjust for different sea states and ascent to 20,000 feet would be possible in very severe weather.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

The 9 worst things a leader can say

Actions may speak louder than words, but words can still drop you in it.

Why you overvalue your own ideas

And why you shouldn't.

When spying on your staff backfires

As Barclays' recently-scrapped tracking software shows, snooping on your colleagues is never a good idea....

A CEO’s guide to smart decision-making

You spend enough time doing it, but have you ever thought about how you do...

What Tinder can teach you about recruitment

How to make sure top talent swipes right on your business.

An Orwellian nightmare for mice: Pest control in the digital age

Case study: Rentokil’s smart mouse traps use real-time surveillance, transforming the company’s service offer.