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Companies to develop WIG effect Airfish 8 derivatives

ST Engineering is partnering with Wigetworks Private Limited to create several variants of the Airfish 8 wing-in-ground (WIG) aircraft. (ST Engineering)

ST Engineering and Wigetworks have started a joint venture (JV) to develop multiple versions of the Airfish 8 wing-in-ground (WIG) effect aircraft.

Wigetworks Private Limited, a Singapore-based company, is developing the Airfish 8 for commercial and “parapublic” applications. The “Airfish 8 will be the baseline product. Variants can be developed based on [the] Airfish 8”, an ST Engineering spokesperson told Janes.

Janes understands that derivatives will be developed for roles such as search and rescue (SAR), ambulance, civil protection, firefighting, and disaster management. Other applications include public transit and as a potential luxury transport aircraft.

According to Janes data, the Airfish 8 is a 17 m-class WIG craft. In its standard configuration, the Airfish 8 has a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 5,550 kg. It can accommodate a two-person flight crew and up to eight passengers, or a payload of 1,200 kg.

“The JV is expected to certify and have its first platform in operation, [the] 10-passenger (including crew) WIG craft, by 2025,” the spokesperson said. “Operational trials with certification bodies [are] expected to begin in 2024.”

The spokesperson added that additional “designs will be refined to suit the needs of the customers and markets. We will be eventually scaling [the] Airfish 8 up to larger aircraft downstream”.

The Airfish 8 prototype was powered by one General Motors 7.0 litre V8 LS7 petrol engine driving a pair of fixed-pitch pusher propellers. Wigetworks previously told Janes that it seeks to power the production version with two petrol or aero-diesel engines.

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