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This New All-Electric Seaplane Glides Above the Water Like a Hovercraft

Want to get from New York to the Hamptons in record time? How about Boston to Nantucket? This new electric aircraft takes off and lands on water the same way a floatplane does, but flies at 180 mph just above the water’s surface. Designed by two aerospace engineers, the Regent seaglider will serve as a very fast commuter between urban centers and coastal areas. Regent says the seaglider’s 180-mile range will be at speeds ranging from 145 to 180 mph. After the seaglider lands on the water, it… ( More...

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Peter Fuller 9
Can it climb out of ground effect to avoid obstacles? Capability to avoid things like surface vessels, wind turbines, and intervening land seems necessary. Gaining altitude to cross Cape Cod would significantly shorten the run between Boston and Nantucket.
Tobias Heller 2
My other big concern is noise since it'll be flying very close to populated areas. Even though it's electric, that many props is going to create quite a ruckus.
skylab72 1
Not necessarily. Electric torque enables high blade count, wide blades, and tip speeds well below Mach. Could be surprisingly quiet.
skylab72 1
The price of being out of ground effect is efficiency, not the ability to fly. It can easily hop over or dodge surface vessels. Assuming there is a good way to track their location(s).
I’ve flown amphibious planes and planes on floats, and would never want to be zipping along at 200mph within a wingspan of the water.
It will be interesting to see how this technology plays out.
Dan Chiasson 1
It won't play out. Marketing looking for money. Pass.
Chris Bryant 12
Weird. What happens if the weather is bad and they're looking at 6' - 10' seas? Zipping along in ground effect doesn't seem like such a good idea at that point.
8literbeater 6
Probably the same as every other boat or aircraft in bad weather with 6'-10' seas. Park.
A new electric Caspian Sea Monster?
belzybob 4
Just a new twist on an old concept. Lets see it flying....
Ron Nash 6
How is this design going to deal with the potentially serious collision potential with small boats? Someone is forgetting water bodies are full of boats, at the best of times.
How are the designers going to deal with prop blast and noise issues?
Prop blast will throw up a lot of spray over unsuspecting spectators.
Aircraft noise is amplified close to water level.
Then there's the ocean swell factor, as distinct from wave height.
Sorry, I won't be holding my breath for the spectacular success of this idea.
Alan Dahl 2
I would assume that it would run as a hydrofoil until far enough away from shore before fully powering up into Ekronoplan mode. I can see this idea working between the Hawaiian islands but it would need to be careful to avoid shipping lanes.
David Dickins 3
The title is a misnomer. For a start, it is a foil borne flying boat, not a seaplane. Most importanatly, it does not glide across the water like a hovercraft - it flies in ground effect like a Russian WIG or Ekranoplan. A hovercraft has flexible skirt (or side walls) to contain a trapped air cushion that elevates the hull a few meters above the surface.
Alan Dahl 3
So it's basically a modern take on the Ekronoplan?
Dan Chiasson 3
just redefined with the hope that it being "electric" will somehow make a model proven to be a failure look somehow attractive. Would not invest a penny in this engineer / marketing team's wet dream.
Alan Dahl 2
I don't know if the Ekronoplan was a failure as such, it did work but they really had no practical use for it in the Soviet Union. For a country or state mainly made of islands like the Bahamas or Hawaii I think there might be some practical applications.
Derek Vaughn 2
Too bad a breaching humpback would ruin the day.
Cibrut Turbic 1
Haha, that boat mode - dream on. Maybe on water like glass. But slightest wave wil make rock it like any other small boat. It this case with bonus of wing tip hitting water and end up in ground (water? ;)) loop being torn into zillion pieces. "Zero emmisions" are also funny statement - did batteries just pop-in to our world from nowhere? And are they charged with electricity being just sucked from air? If so then ok, it will be zero emissions.
skylab72 1
If they can get funding the trick will be modern materials, inertial aware high update rate flight controls, and "modern" batteries. The concept has historically had some challenges, but it is in the process of becoming quite doable. If there is a market for it, it will happen, the barriers are no longer technology.
dardav 1
180 mph and mear feet from the the hardest liquid know to not fly into. Buy a boat that goes 100 mph and stays in the water with hydrofoils - stop "honestly" stop!!
Dan Chiasson 1
Cute and that is it. I cannot see any commercial value to this recycled endeavour. Attempted several times (ex: Russian ekranoplan) to no avail. Yeah electric engines but apart from that, a solution looking for a problem.
C Anderson 3
I suspect you have an ancestor who was somewhere around when the Wright Brothers were building bicycles.
More pie in the sky!
joel wiley -1
So it flies in the ground effect (choppy water effect?) over coastal areas with fishing trawlers, ships of various cargoes, cruise liners, pleasure boats, flocks of seabirds, attorney-owned sail boats, and rogue waves. What could possibly go wrong?
David Rice -2
“attorney-owned sail boats”? I detect someone whose ex-wife’s lawyer has a nice boat, yea? She shtuping him too?


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