Naval Warfare

ST Engineering AirX Secures First Order for AirFish 8 Wing-in-Ground (WIG) Craft

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ST Engineering AirX Secures First Order for AirFish 8 Wing-in-Ground (WIG) Craft

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Airfish 8 wing-in-ground (WIG) effect technology. (Photo by Wigetworks)
Airfish 8 wing-in-ground (WIG) effect technology. (Photo by Wigetworks)

ST Engineering AirX, in collaboration with a Singapore-based startup, has achieved a significant milestone by securing its inaugural order for a bespoke craft designed to effortlessly skim above water surfaces utilizing low-level aerodynamics. The joint venture, known as ST Engineering AirX, inked a letter of intent (LOI) on Feb 21 during the Singapore Airshow with Eurasia Mobility Solutions in Turkey. The agreement entails the purchase of up to 10 AirFish Wing-in-Ground (WIG) craft with provisions for an additional 10, although the financial details remain undisclosed. Under this agreement, ST Engineering AirX will tailor and deliver the 10-seat AirFish 8 to Eurasia Mobility Solutions progressively starting from 2025. This craft, offering a novel alternative mode of transportation, promises safe, sustainable, and swift travel, particularly catering to Turkey’s tourism and private transportation sectors. Outpacing conventional air and marine travel options, the AirFish 8 is poised to redefine marine transportation norms, presenting new avenues for advancement in Turkey.

The Airfish family of WIG craft operates on the principle of ground effect, leveraging the compressed air beneath its wings when in close proximity to the ground. This principle, akin to the flight strategy employed by large birds like the albatross, not only enhances lift but also minimizes energy consumption from engines, a distinct advantage over conventional seagoing vessels battling hydrodynamic drag. Measuring 17m in length and 15m in width, the AirFish 8 is designed for operation by a two-person crew and can accommodate six to eight passengers. Powered by an eight-cylinder automotive engine running on 95-octane unleaded petrol, it boasts speeds of 90 knots (167km/h) and a range of up to 300 nautical miles (555km), surpassing typical fast ferries that travel at 30 knots. Compliant with International Maritime Organisation (IMO) guidelines, the craft is poised to undergo Type A WIG certification, ensuring adherence to safety standards.

Airfish 8 wing-in-ground (WIG) effect technology. (Photo by Wigetworks)
Airfish 8 wing-in-ground (WIG) effect technology. (Photo by Wigetworks)

The AirFish 8 requires no airport infrastructure, making it versatile for operation from beaches in the absence of piers. The origins of Singapore’s involvement in Airfish WIG craft trace back to 2004, marked by Wigetworks’ acquisition of patents and intellectual property rights from Germany’s Airfoil Development GmbH. Since then, the AirFish 8 has undergone rigorous testing, culminating in ST Engineering’s collaboration with Peluca (formerly Wigetworks) to establish ST Engineering AirX in 2023. ST Engineering AirX envisions a myriad of applications for the Airfish WIG craft, including potential cargo variants and scaled-up models catering to search and rescue missions and military operations. Beyond mere flight safety, the ultimate objective is to disrupt the maritime travel industry, ushering in a new era of efficient and sustainable transportation solutions.

ST Engineering AirX (AirX), a subsidiary of ST Engineering and Peluca (formerly known as Wigetworks) combines various disciplines in aviation, marine and wing-in-ground effect technology to form a centre of excellence for WIG craft in Singapore, that can effectively serve transportation and logistics needs in coastal areas. The company’s portfolio comprises the AirFish family of WIG craft, which includes the two-seater AirFish 3 and the 10-seater AirFish 8, and in time to come, new AirFish platforms with greater seat capacity. Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd, doing business as ST Engineering, is a Singaporean multinational technology and engineering group in the aerospace, smart city as well as defence and public security sectors. Headquartered in Singapore, the group ranks among the largest companies listed on the Singapore Exchange, and is one of Asia’s largest defence and engineering groups.

Airfish 8 wing-in-ground (WIG) effect technology. (Photo by Wigetworks)
Airfish 8 wing-in-ground (WIG) effect technology. (Photo by Wigetworks)

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