Trans Oceanic Ground Effect ?

Date:         31 Mar 2000 22:25:19 
From:         JF Mezei <jfmezei.spamnot@vl.videotron.ca>
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Some of the documentaries on aviation on TV make mention of the very
large ground effect floatplane built by the russians, that can carry
1000 troups.  They mention that it is a very efficient mode of
transport.

Are such planes truly much more efficient than regular planes ? Has
there ever been any consideration for using such a plane for oceanic
transport ?

Could the capacity (cargo/pax) of such a plane be very significantly
greater than a 747 ?

While the plane could only serve cities with a harbour on the ocean,
could it not be a cost effective transport that might be able to steal
cargo traffic from ships and regular planes ?

Or would weather/waves make such a plane unreliable/unusable for such
oceanic journeys ?