The Seaglider has finally taken to the air, promising to change the future of transportation.
Designed by Regent, the Seaglider is an electric seaplane designed to “float, foil, and fly” at speeds of up to 180 mph.
The company says it’s already amassed a backlog of $7 billion worth of orders for the supercraft.
Regent just launched a quarter-scale demonstration model of the Seaglider and it successfully flew over Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island.
“This is the next great moment in the history of human transportation,” Regent CEO and cofounder Billy Thalheimer said.
“There has not been a new mode of transport since the helicopter.”
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Thalheimer said the Seaglider would “massively improve convenience and affordability of regional travel”.
The first version Regent plans to launch is the Viceroy which will be able to carry 12 passengers.
It will launch and land on water with help from remote controls and an automated system.
Powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, it will cut through the waves on hydrofoils.
The company CEO compared the hydrofoils to “driving above the water surface on stilts”.
“The waves pass beneath you. You’re really insulated from any waves or instability that would make a traditional boat ride uncomfortable for a passenger,” he said.
Once the craft ‘takes off’, it will fly within a wingspan of the water’s surface like a hovercraft.
“It’s like being in a traditional airliner where it’s a very smooth ride with the exception that we are flying low over the surface of the water, giving you something like a second-story house window type of view of the ocean, and a great view of the cities around you,” CTO Mike Klinker said.
Thalheimer compared it to “flying on a cushion of air like a pelican”.
Regent said the Seaglider was the first craft to take off from a controlled hydrofoil and transition to wing-borne flight.
When will the Regent Seaglider be ready?
The company plans to have the Seaglider ferrying passengers by the end of 2025.
Regent is also working to create a seaplane big enough to ferry up to 100 passengers, which it hopes to launch by 2028.