A flying ferry project has moved a step close to reality. American firm Regent has received an approval in principle from Bureau Veritas for its 12-passenger, fully electric, wing-in-ground effect (WIG) seaglider, the Viceroy. Regent claims to have backlog of $7bn in provisional orders for its seagliders from ferry and aviation operators.
Regent will also be leveraging the class approval in support of a design basis agreement (DBA) with the US Coast Guard, which is expected this autumn. The class approval and DBA are similar to the G-1 and G-2 issue paper used in FAA aircraft certification.
Regent’s seagliders will operate exclusively over the water servicing routes up to 180 miles with existing battery technology and up to 500 miles with next-generation batteries, via existing dock infrastructure. The seaglider can take cargo as well as passengers.
“Society is accelerating its move toward highly digitalized, decarbonized transportation solutions. Our work with seagliders has been an opportunity for Bureau Veritas to further share and develop our expertise in new systems and technologies including electric propulsion systems, high-speed hydrofoils, and digital fly-by-wire control systems whilst also assessing the safety of these systems,” said Laurent Leblanc, a senior vice president at BV.
Earlier this month Splash reported on California-based Boundary Layer Technologies announcement that key Fortune 500 companies will become launch partners for its zero-emission freight service launching in 2025. The plan is to operate high-speed, hydrogen-powered hydrofoil cargo ships called ARGOs. Boundary Layer Technologies claims it will be able to offer zero-emission transit alternatives to air freight at half the price, with only one day increased transit time door-to-door.