Regent Craft successfully completed the world’s first all-electric Seaglider flight.
- Regent Craft’s electric seaglider completed its first series of test flights and made a big step forward in maritime transportation.
- The seaglider is an all-electric wing-in-ground effect vehicle that flies just above the water’s surface.
- The goal of the company is to reduce the cost and hassle of regional transportation between coastal cities.
Why it’s news
Regent’s electric seaglider taking successful flights is good news for electric air travel.
By flying low over water, the seaglider is able to take advantage of numerous aerodynamic and operational efficiencies. This allows it to have an increased payload capability and greater range than other electric aircraft concepts.
Regent says the seaglider operates in three modes: from the dock, the vehicle first drives on its hull like a traditional boat. As it leaves the harbor area and speeds up, it rises on its hydrofoil. The hydrofoil offers significant wave tolerance and a smooth ride as the seaglider leaves a crowded harbor.
Upon reaching open water, the seaglider takes flight, retracting the foil and accelerating up to cruise speed—all while staying within a wingspan of the water’s surface. Driving a seaglider is enabled by coupling advanced digital flight software with simple boat controls.
“This is the next great moment in the history of human transportation,” said Regent CEO and co-founder, Billy Thalheimer.
The seaglider is ideal for short, regularly scheduled routes—such as between Hawaiian islands or coastal cities like New York and Boston, Los Angeles and San Diego, or Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
Regent plans to have 12-passenger planes in operation by 2025 and have some in the commercial space by 2028.
Hawaiian Airlines invested in the company with hopes to bring the seagliders to the islands.
“Innovative inter island transportation has been core to our business since 1929 when we replaced steam ships with airplanes. We are excited to be an early investor in Regent and to be involved in developing its largest seaglider—a vehicle with great potential for Hawaii,” says Hawaiian Air CMO Avi Mannis.