Thursday, May 26, 2011

Shin Meiwa GS (1977)

The Shin Meiwa, now ShinMaywa, GS (for "Giant Seaplane") was an amphibian airliner concept from 1977 designed to carry 1,200 passengers on three decks. 344 passengers on its upper deck, 626 on the main deck, and 230 on the lower deck at a 34-in. seat pitch. Payload was estimated at 120 tons.

Designed for transoceanic service, the GS would have a range of 3,500 nm. Cruising speed would be 486 knots at an altitude of 37,000 feet. The plane would take off in 3,800 feet at 92 knots and land in 1,903 feet at 102 knots. The aircraft was designed to operate in Sea State 3 (maximum wave height at five feet).

Six advanced, high-bypass ratio turbofans of about 77,000-pounds of thrust would be needed to power this mammoth flying boat. For enhanced STOL capability, the engines would exhaust air over the wing's upper surface in a propulsive lift concept similar to the Boeing F-15. To that end, engines would be mounted above and forward of the supercritical wing. An advantage of this arrangement is that the engines are out of spray range and thus safe from flameout due to excessive water ingestion.

Advanced turbofans, improved hull and supercritical wing designs, composite materials for weight savings and salt-water corrosion resistance, and water evacuation systems required by the GS were expected to take about six years to achieve.

The freighter version would have a nose loading door and an elevator just aft of the cockpit.

Purchase price was expected to be $60 million in 1977 dollars, based on a production run of 150 aircraft.

General Characteristics

Length: 293.9 feet
Wingspan: 255.9 feet
Height: 71.3 feet
Width: 27.6 feet
Weight: 1.04 million pounds

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