Mix of boat and plane: See an electric seaglider take flight

Boston-based startup Regent has completed a test flight of its all-electric seaglider — a mix of boat and plane that will “float, foil and fly” above the water.

In a statement, the company said the seaglider is the “first craft to take off from a controlled hydrofoil to wing-borne flight.”

The flight demonstrations used a quarter-scale prototype with an 18-foot wingspan. Now Regent will develop a full-scale, prototype, with a 65-foot wingspan. Human-carrying sea trials are expected to begin in 2024.

The company then plans to move toward commercializing the seagliders for sustainable high-speed mobility. Regent said it has orders totaling over $7 billion for the new vehicles. It aims to have its first passengers onboard in 2025.

The successful flights were launched in Narragansett Bay, in Rhode Island.

“This is the next great moment in the history of human transportation,” said Billy Thalheimer, CEO and co-founder of Regent.

“There has not been a new mode of transportation since the helicopter,” Thalheimer added. “Seagliders will bring welcome relief for travelers seeking an alternative to traditional air travel, servicing coastal communities such as New York City, the Hawaiian Islands, Barcelona, Tokyo and many more worldwide.”

Lauren Hamilton

Lauren Hamilton is an Associate Producer at WTOP and a graduate of the University of Maryland. She enjoys covering the intersection of arts, culture and social justice in local communities. She began as an intern with WTOP in the summer of 2021.

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