180 MPH Electric Seaglider for Coastal Travel to Make Its Grand Debut at Tampa Bay

Regent will start demonstrations of its seaglider prototype in 2022 8 photos
Photo: Regent Craft
Electric cars, electric ferries, electric air taxis – all of these are promising to shape the future of urban transportation. But when it comes to coastal travel, a different kind of electric beast is gearing up to steal the show, and that is the seaglider. This unusual vehicle, part boat and part aircraft, is about to make its debut at the Tampa Bay.
The technical aviation term “wind-in-ground vehicle” (WIG) depicts a type of vehicle that can float and dock like boats but also take off and fly above the water, like aircraft. The modern version developed by a Boston-based company called Regent features the modern hydrofoil technology (underwater wings) that can be operated even in crowded harbors, with increased performance. Plus, it’s emissions-free, in line with the green revolution.

Regent wants to revolutionize coastal travel, offering passengers a fast, affordable, and sustainable way of flying. And it chose Tampa Bay for the seaglider’s grand debut because it offers a large harbor, great dock infrastructure, mild weather, and support from local authorities.

Tampa Bay Times reports that the first commercial seaglider will carry around 12 passengers to locations such as St. Petersburg, Sarasota, and Fort Myers. Regent’s aircraft can speed up to 180 mph (290 kph) and travel for 180 miles (290 km) at this speed. Regent’s chief executive Billy Thalheimer told Tampa Bay Times that the first prototype will start testing in the Tampa area as soon as next year, with commercial flights set to start by 2025. This means that Tampa will become one of the first cities in the U.S. to roll out seaglider regular flights.

If you’re wondering how much will that cost, that’s still unknown. The airlines that will operate the seaglider are the ones who will set the ticket price, but Thalheimer says it will be more affordable than regular commercial flights.

The upcoming Tampa debut is just the beginning. The Boston-based company plans to develop even larger versions, which can carry up to 100 passengers. Also, as car battery performance continues to evolve, the seaglider will be able to increase its range and reach much further.

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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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