Preliminary Investigation into the design of a Mathematical Control Model for Flying Airboat Concept within Ground Effect

  • H. Y. Akuma
  • M. Arifin
Keywords: aerodynamics, flying airboat, lift-to-drag ratio, motion, performance-oriented, versatility, wig crafts


Despite the rapid evolution of technology in both the mechanical and aviation fields, one area that
remains unexplored is the ground effect (GE) and its potential implication on land, sea and air vehicles of the
future. In this regard, the development and implementation of Wing-in-Ground (WIG) crafts have particularly
been lagging behind. WIG crafts are essentially vessels which are operated within the GE, whereby, an improved
lift-to-drag (L/D) ratio is considered as a major enabling factor for aerodynamics improvement. Because of the
unique properties within the GE, WIG crafts are inherently energy-efficient and performance-oriented vessels.
Their versatility also makes them ideal for a wide range of applications encompassing both military and civilian
use. The flying airboat (FA) concept is an example of a WIG craft that utilizes these characteristics, with a design
that seeks to add the benefit of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL). In this study, the approach adopted for
designing a mathematical control model of the concept is explored. The analysis findings indicate that the
controllability of a WIG craft, such as the FA, is mostly reliant upon the fundamental equations of motion.
Incorporation of span dominated GE (SDGE) into the control model substantially improves the lift-to-drag ratio
and therefore, the overall performance of the WIG. The investigation concludes that implementing a
manoeuvrability control model for the FA is viable with minor changes to the presented physical design.


Amir, M. A. U., Maimun, A., Mat, S., & Saad, M. R. (2016). Wing in GE Craft: A Review of
the State Of Current Stability Knowledge. In Proceedings of the International
Conference on Ocean, Mechanical and Aerospace For Scientists and Engineer (OMAse
2016), 277-290.
Bennett, L., Frank, A., McLoughlin, T., Moreton, R., Randell, S., & Wong, S. (2007). Wing in
GE ( WIG ) aircraft Aerodynamics. University of Adelaide, Australia, 15, 769–792.
Duke, E. L., Antoniewicz, R. F., & Krambeer, K. D. (1988). Derivation and definition of a
linear aircraft model. NASA Technical Reports, 09, 6-10.
Eremeyev, V. O., Peplin, F. S., & Tumanin, A. V. (2017). Mathematical Model of Dynamics
of Air Cushion Vehicle with Ballonet Type Skirt on Water. Procedia Engineering, 206,
Ghafoor, A., Shabani, R., & Leblebicioğlu, K. (2015). Mathematical Modelling and Pitch
Attitude Hold Design for a Wing-in-Ground (WIG) Effect Vehicle.
Lee, S. H., & Lee, J. (2013). Aerodynamic analysis and multi-objective optimization of wings
in GE. Ocean Engineering, 68, 1-13.
Mohd Zaid, M. Z. (2015). Aerodynamic Design for a High Speed Airboat Craft. Unplublished
final year thesis, Universiti Selangor Library, Selangor, 29-59.
Nonami, K., Kendoul, F., Suzuki, S., Wang, W., & Nakazawa, D. (2010). Mathematical
modeling and nonlinear control of VTOL aerial vehicles. In Autonomous Flying
Robots (pp. 161-193). Springer, Tokyo.
Oo, W., Tun, H., Naing, Z., & Moe, W. (2017). Design Of Vertical Take-Off and Landing
(VTOL) Aircraft System. International Journal Of Scientific & Technology
Research, 6(04), 179-183.
Seif, M. S., & Dakhrabadi, M. T. (2016). A practical method for aerodynamic investigation of
WIG. Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International
Journal, 88(1), 73-81.
Tavakoli Dakhrabadi, M., & Seif, M. S. (2018). Hydro-aerodynamic mathematical model and
multi-objective optimization of wing-in-GE craft in take-off. Proceedings of the
Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part M: Journal of Engineering for the Maritime
Environment, 232(4), 421-433.
Tewari, A. (2011). Advanced control of aircraft, spacecraft and rockets (Vol. 37). John Wiley
& Sons.
Selangor Science &Technology Review
Special Issue: Transformation of Manufacturing in Digital Age
Vol. 5, No. 1, (2021)
Wang, X., & Cai, L. (2015). Mathematical modeling and control of a tilt-rotor
aircraft. Aerospace Science and Technology, 47, 473-492.
Wieselsberger, C., (1922). New Data on the Laws of Fluid Resistance. National Advisory
Committee for Aeronautics,22 (86), 1 -16.
How to Cite
Akuma, H. Y., & Arifin, M. (2021). Preliminary Investigation into the design of a Mathematical Control Model for Flying Airboat Concept within Ground Effect. Selangor Science & Technology Review (SeSTeR), 5(1), 31-46. Retrieved from