SEV = Surface Effect Vessel (WIG), with ΛrTintrí the name of our community of practice, a stylized variant of the Irish Ar Tintri = On Lightning vis-à-vis Electricity.
An SEV is a vehicle designed to achieve and maintain sustained flight over a level surface (typically over the sea) by making use of the ground effect, the aerodynamic interaction between the wings and the surface.
All fixed-wing craft in close proximity to the surface of land or sea experience increased lift (force) and a significant decrease of the aerodynamic, vortex-induced drag normally generated by its wings when in free flight.
The majority of Surface Effect Vessels are designed with the intention of their duration of transit to remain within the boundary of this described surface effect and so realize a force multiplication in both load capacity and operational efficiency. In many ways, they are more literally a flying boat than the aircraft the term commonly is associated with, though some can by intention, operate overland much like a hovercraft.
Our design focus is on a SEV that is responsive, agile within the narrow aerodynamic regime of surface effect. Highly efficient and swift they maybe but faced with navigating environments with other craft most lack the ability to respond to potential hazards whether at sea or overland.
Add to this a chronic limitation in the range of conditions they are able to launch and land under, and it becomes obvious why this kind of vehicle hasn’t become more widely adopted.