WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- The new REGENT “seaglider” is an electric transport plane that can travel up to 180 mph with double the range of most electric aircraft.
- The boat-plane hybrid has the ability to transform between the two modes without needing a runway.
- It needs only half the manufacturing costs, but the project has already received millions from several investors.
Travel has been continuously revolutionized as more types of technology come to light. There have been the Virgin Hyperloop, HAV carbon-free dirigibles, and self-driving cars. Soon, we are about to witness the REGENT “seaglider”, a boat-plane hybrid set to transform short-distance ferry services.
The electric transport plane can travel up to 180 mph — around six times faster than a ferry. It also has twice the range of most electric aircraft but with half the manufacturing costs.
The vehicle is designed to function as a trio of vehicles in one.
The seaglider functions like a normal boat or seaplane when it rests on the sea while loading and unloading passengers. To maneuver around a crowded port, it then deploys its hydrofoils. The foils are withdrawn once it’s on the open sea, where it functions as a “wing-in-ground effect vehicle.”
Wing-in-ground effect vehicles were designed back in the 1960s. They use high speeds to essentially hover just above the water’s surface. This makes them still classify as boats rather than planes, so they are subject to maritime laws instead of aviation laws.
There are current technology limitations on battery-powered electric motors, so as the seaglider is considered a boat, it can skirt around this limitation and offer truly zero-emissions transport. Current advances on batteries could even raise the seaglider’s range from 180 miles to 500 in the near future.
REGENT plans to provide short flights and ferry routes such as LA to Santa Barbara or San Francisco, New York to Boston, and perhaps even to Washington, D.C. as well.
Several investors, including Peter Thiel and Mark Cuban, have already provided almost $10 million. Other pledges total $465 million. The company has also acquired sponsorship from operators Brittany Ferries, Goombay Air, and SplitExpress.
REGENT expects to have a quarter-sized prototype by the end of the year, and a full-sized operational prototype in 2023.
Source: Good News Network