The Boeing Pelican ULTRA (Ultra Large Transport Aircraft ) project is the study of a ground-effect aircraft. When flying close to the ground with the aid of ground effect (English: wing- in -ground -effect or WIGE ) a significant reduction in aerodynamic drag possible. The effect makes it possible with relatively low drive power to transport large payloads over extreme distances. Reducing the resistance should be as high as 70%.
The work is, the think tank for Boeing's research and development projects in aircraft conducted in the Boeing Phantom Works ( St. Louis, Missouri ).
The aim of the study is to develop a (air) vehicle very high transport capacity for military or civilian use. The device would have a wingspan of about 150 m (500 ft) and a cargo capacity of almost 1,300 tonnes and a range of about 18,000 km (10,000 nm). It would be powered by four turboprop engines mainly at altitudes of about 6 to 15 m (20-50 ft) above the water surface fly.
However, a cross-country flight would be at a higher altitude ( above 6000 m ), but with a decrease in range. Off and landing would be made on conventional slopes, the weight would be distributed to a total of 76 wheels with 38 legs. The aircraft exceeds the dimensions of the currently largest aircraft, the Russian Antonov An-225, approximately twofold. The maximum payload of the An-225 ( 275.5 t) would be to the exceeded five times around, it could thus in a single application seventeen M1 Abrams tank to be transported.
Little is known about the current status of the project. A source reported that in April 2003 a study by the U.S. Army (Army 's Advanced Mobility Concepts Study) should be published with a decision about the fate of the project.
In the study, a civilian and a military version is provided at least.
As a potential operators the United States Air Force, Allied air forces and civilian shipping companies are seen.
- Normal: 1,270 t
- Maximum: 1,400 t