Regent has revealed the video of its unique Seaglider prototype in flight testing. This is the first machine to amalgamate the efficiency advantages of ground effect and hydrofoiling in one design.
This Seaglider is developed to move slowly like a boat, with its V-shaped hull/fuselage in the water. When it speeds up for takeoff, it rises out of the water on a set of hydrofoils. This takes the cabin out of the waves, making it glide smoothly above the surface for a ride. Hydrofoils bend inwards once the vehicle moves smoothly and come back out when needed for landing.
It has 14 seats and can cover 180 miles (~300 km) at speeds up to 180 mph (300 km/h) with zero emissions.
The company says that it’s taken pre-orders for a staggering US$7 billion in revenue.
Regent has raised the $18-odd million it needs to build a full-scale prototype with a 65-ft (19.8-m) wingspan for manned trials, which it hopes to commence in 2024. Mass production can start in 2025.
“People have been attempting to make wing-in-ground effect vehicles viable for 60 years, and in 15 months we have gone from a drawing on a napkin to the first successful flight,” said Mike Klinker, Regent CTO, and co-founder, in a press release. “Regent is the first team in history to overcome the deficiency of low wave tolerance with past designs by combining high-speed hydrofoils with ground-effect flight – a crucial innovation that will revolutionize coastal transit. No vehicle in history can match the combined wave tolerance and speed of our seaglider.”