Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Regent’s flying electric Seaglider ferry could revolutionize coastal transportation

In the coming years, flying taxis will offer environmentally friendly and convenient travel options. We can now add Regent’s “Seaglider” to that ever-increasing list of futuristic travel options.

Boston startup Regent is developing an “electric Seaglider,” a passenger-carrying, wing-in-ground-effect craft that aims to drastically reduce the cost and headache of regional transportation between coastal cities. The 10-passenger Seaglider operates a few meters off the water’s surface and couples the high speed of an airplane with the low operating cost of a boat.

Regent's flying electric Seaglider ferry could revolutionize coastal travel
Electric, passenger-carrying, wing-in-ground-effect crafts for fast, safe, and low-cost coastal transportation. Credit: Regent

Seaglider’s 100% electric propulsion system enables zero-emission, high-speed transportation. It takes off at a low speed using the water as a runway and then flies over the waves at a top speed of 180 mph (290 km/h) to bring passengers to their destinations. Built to the same safety standards of all modern aircraft and watercraft, the vehicle will service routes up to 180 miles (290 km) with existing battery technology and routes up to 500 miles (804 km) with next-gen batteries, all via existing dock infrastructure.

The CEO, Billy Thalheimer said, with $9 million in fresh seed funding in hand, the team is currently working on a prototype that will be ready by the end of the year. “The prototype will have about a 15-foot wingspan and will weigh about 400 pounds. We need to make sure it works in representative operational environments, like in waves and different weather,” Thalheimer told CNBC.

After successful prototype testing, one of the Seaglider will be transporting people as early as 2025.

While many companies are trying to enter the flying taxi space with electric aircraft, it would be exciting to see the arrival of something a little different.