This Electric Seaglider Could Change Coast-To-Coast Travel

Low-altitude planes are cool and all, but they have nothing on Regent’s all-electric seaglider. Think of it as the future of coast-to-coast travel if successful.

  • Boston start-up Regent is developing an electric seaglider, capable of hitting a top speed of 180mph.
  • The craft will transport passengers between coastal cities.
  • Regent received $9m in funding for this project from backers.
  • A scaled-down prototype of the seaglider might appear this year.

Boston start-up Regent (Regional Electric Ground Effect Naval Transport) are developing something known as an “electric seaglider,” a unique approach to sea/air travel. Renderings of the seaglider make it look part plane, part boat, using water as its main runway. It looks very futuristic, right?

© Credit to REGENT

Hydrofoil technology helps the craft lift itself above the water, where it hovers at low altitude. The vessel/craft will be 6x faster than a ferry, reaching speeds of 180mph, which is lightning quick. Additionally, according to Regent, the seaglider can travel up to 180 miles on each charge; the power of electric transport strikes again!

Regent hopes to fit right alongside an established harbour ecosystem, jetting passengers between regions at high speed. Planned passenger routes between areas like New York, San Francisco, Boston and LA are in the works. Moreover, shorter routes are indeed possible, connecting passengers to islands surrounding Hawaii.

Like hovercraft, Regent’s seaglider takes advantage of an air cushion that sits between the wings and the water. In short, this ground effect gives craft like the seaglider double the range of most electric aircraft.

A lot of interest from backers with capital

Zero-emission travel at an affordable price is the goal, as outlined by co-founders Billy Thalheimer (CEO) and Michael Klinker (CTO). Regent has had no issues finding interest from investors. Founders Fund, Mark Cuban, Y Combinator, Caffeinated Capital and Thiel have all gotten on board.

A key investor in Caffeinated Capital has rallied behind Regent, citing them as the potential future of electric aircraft.

Another backer, Mark Cuban, also told CNBC: “Time is the most valuable asset that we don’t own. Regent makes so many difficult trips simple and fast. Its impact will be significant and global.”

Later this year, Regent will test a scaled-down prototype of the seaglider. “The prototype will have about a 15-foot wingspan and will weigh about 400 pounds. We need to make sure it works in representative operational environments, like in waves and different weather,” said Thalheimer to CNBC.

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