Test flights were performed on a quarter-scale Regent Viceroy electric seaglider
The first set of test flights for the Regent Viceroy electric seaglider were recently performed on a mini version of the model. Also known as demonstrator seacraft, it became the first craft that took off a controlled hydrofoil and then transitioned to a wing-borne flight, as stated by the American outfit.
The tests were done on a quarter-scaled replica in order to show that the Regent Viceroy electric seaglider can “float, foil, and fly” as the start-up expected. The replica has an 18-foot wingspan and is also electric powered and radio controlled.
Also referred to as a WIG (wing-in ground-effect vehicle), a seaglider flies close to the surface of the water, allowing it to stay in the air while consuming less energy than it would if it were flying at higher altitudes. Billy Thalheimer, co-founder and CEO of Regent, claims that the company already has a backlog of orders for its seagliders totaling $7 billion.
“This is the next great moment in the history of human transportation,” said Thalheimer. ”There has not been a new mode of transportation since the helicopter. 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.”
Seagliders have three modes of operation. After it sails from the dock, it picks up speed and rises onto a hydrofoil. The vehicle accelerates, retracts the foil, and starts to fly as it reaches open water.
The flights of its Regent Viceroy electric seaglider represented the last step to check its viability. According to Regent, they are currently concentrating on creating their full-scale prototype and getting it ready for sea trials, which are scheduled to start in 2024. By 2025, Regent hopes to have passenger-carrying seagliders in operation on coastal lines connecting major cities all over the world.