A “flying boat” may appear to be an exaggeration, but a Swiss startup is willing to prove completely different.
In 2023, Jet ZeroEmission will unveil the world’s first hydrogen-powered flying boat. The firm has collaborated with Zenith Marine and DWYN to construct the new zero-emissions vessel.
The boat will be 33 feet long from tip to tail, with a futuristic, spaceship-like profile. It will be able to transport up to 12 people and a captain. It can also soar like a jet owing to its hydrofoils, which will raise it 3 feet above the water to provide less resistance than a typical boat. Because you’re flying above any turbulent waves, foiling also provides a smoother ride with less wake.
The Jet’s propulsion is equally as innovative. It will be outfitted with two hydrogen fuel cells, which will power the electric motors, allowing for calm, emissions-free travel at high speeds. According to the Swiss company, the Jet will achieve roughly 18 knots during takeoff and cruise at around 35–40 knots. According to the brand, it will primarily serve hotels and high-end clientele.
It’s worth noting that combining hydrofoils with hydrogen isn’t exactly a revolutionary idea. Nevertheless, there has been a flurry of designs incorporating this cutting-edge technology. Indeed, Emirates Team New Zealand is constructing a hydrogen-powered foiling pursuit boat to assist the AC75 racing boats in the 37th America’s Cup.
Nonetheless, the Jet ZeroEmission is gaining traction. The startup, managed by legendary yachtsman Alain Thébault, has already acquired a portion of the $11.4 million funds. Moreover, Thébault also contributes a lot of experience to the project. In 2009, the Frenchman conceived and built L’Hydroptère, a hydrofoil trimaran that achieved a global sailing speed record.
“We are pleased to make this announcement from Dubai and be able to manufacture and launch ‘The Jet’, which is going to be the world’s first boat to sail without noise, waves, or emissions,” Thébault said in a statement.
This project is scheduled for its inaugural flight in November 2023, during Dubai’s COP28 UAE climate summit.