1) What is the price of EP-15 craft?

The market price of EP-15 multipurpose marine ekranoplan is expected as 1 – 1,5 million USD depending on the engine and cabin options. However, before launching the craft to the market the development needs to be completed. Please see the Products section for more details.

2) Is the EP-15 prototype ready for examination and what is the lead time for the EP-15 craft?

At the present moment we are working on the core design and thus all the time change something in a view to improving the further performance of the product. We conduct trials with pulled, remote-controlled and manned models. As the next step, we are going to proceed with the four-seater prototype (4 persons, 150 max. speed, 0,5-meter wave height seakeeping performance). The purpose of this craft will be the design concept demonstration and the pilot training.

Thus, the EP-15 full-size is not yet constructed. It can be built within 24 months since the design is finalized and verified. Please see the Products section for more details.

After the completion of the product development stage, the production capacity of our current manufacturing facility is 10 units per year.

3) How can EP-15 (or other WIGs) operate in rough sea conditions (waves)?

We regard seakeeping performance (seaworthiness) as the critical factor for the commercial application of the WIG craft. That is why we concentrate our RnD efforts to elaborate the most efficient technical solution for this issue (hydroski, sea foils, dynamic air cushion, etc.).

For example, the estimated seakeeping performance of the EP-15 craft is about 1-meter wave height for taking off and up to 1,3 for the cruising mode. The general principle is, of course, the dimensions of the craft (the bigger it is, the higher waves it may overcome).

Concerning the seaworthiness, we had prepared the general review of the WIG design approaches available at the moment and the fundamental technical and operational challenges that they cause.

4) How is the Ekranoplan (WIG-craft) recognized regarding regulation: as a ship or as an aircraft?

In most of the countries (and Russia is amongst them) the WIG craft is legally recognized as the particular class of ship. This provides several benefits regarding cost reduction and simplicity of regulation in comparison to aircraft.

Please look through the Certification section for more information about the options available to certify the WIG craft.

5) The person to operate the Ekranoplan should be the pilot or a captain?

The answer depends on two essential factors: local regulations regarding the WIG craft classification and the WIG craft’s design, control systems and navigational equipment. RDC Aqualines approach to the WIG design solution and relevance to the certification requirements of the Maritime Shipping Register makes our craft to be recognized as a high-speed vessel.

Thus, in legal terms, the operating person should be the licensed captain of a high-speed-craft (HSC). At the same time, the level of speed and the peculiarities of control systems that involve aerodynamics makes it necessary for the operator to take additional training at our trial facility to learn the specific features of operating the WIG craft. Aviation experience (e.g., skills of a private pilot) would undoubtedly contribute to the training process.