REGENT plans to test scale versions of the seaglider in Q1 2022 ahead of the vehicle entering commercial service by 2025. (Photo: REGENT)
After an extensive search, REGENT announced that Tampa, Florida, will be the location of seaglider technology demonstrator testing. REGENT is a venture-backed aerospace company behind the revolutionary all-electric seagliders which provide harbour-to-harbour, overwater transportation at a fraction of the cost, noise, and emissions of existing regional transportation modes like aircraft and ferries. REGENT plans to test scale versions of the seaglider in Q1 2022 ahead of the vehicle entering commercial service by 2025.
"REGENT is excited to test the world's first scale seaglider in Tampa, Florida," said Billy Thalheimer, CEO of REGENT. "Our technology demonstrator is built to fully perform end to end capabilities of float, foil, and fly. We are excited to announce more details of the technology demonstrator vehicle in the coming months."
The combination of favourable maritime conditions and weather as well as the partnership with Mayor Jane Castor and her emphasis on bringing innovation to the city made Tampa the natural choice.
"We are thrilled to welcome REGENT to Tampa for seaglider testing," said Mayor Jane Castor, City of Tampa. "Tampa has always been a city built around innovation, and REGENT's zero-emission, climate-friendly vehicle is the exact type of company we want to support in our ecosystem. We are excited not just to host the testing of the technology demonstrator, but also for our city to be one of the first coastal routes serviced by seagliders in 2025 and beyond. In 1914, the world's first first commercial aircraft took off from Tampa Bay. We're excited to continue our innovative heritage and host the world's first seaglider tests in 2022."
The REGENT seaglider is an all-electric flying vessel that combines the speed, comfort, and navigation systems of an aircraft with the convenience, manoeuverability, and affordability of a boat. Regulated and certified by maritime authorities, the seaglider will transport commercial passengers and critical cargo up to 180 miles at nearly 180 mph with existing battery technology.
Leveraging existing dock infrastructure, REGENT's commercial seaglider will float, foil and fly. From the dock and while in the no wake zone, the vehicle will float on its hull. Upon reaching 20 mph, it will rise up on its retractable hydrofoil. Hydrofoils offer significant wave tolerance and enhanced passenger comfort as the vehicle leaves the crowded city harbour at speeds between 20-40mph. Upon reaching open water, the vehicle smoothly transitions onto its wing, retracts the foil, and accelerates to a comfortable 180-mph cruise speed-- all while staying within a wingspan of the water's surface. Flight safety at these altitudes is achieved utilising a multiple-redundant, state-of-the-art navigation and control system. Similar to a hovercraft, seagliders fly on a dynamic air cushion created by the pressurised air between the wings and the water. The aerodynamic advantage of this so-called "ground effect," includes significant operational efficiencies, increased payload capability, and greater range.
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