This 180 MPH All-Electric Seaglider Could Soon Be Making Waves in Hawaii

Regent's seaglider is a 12-passenger zero-emission hybrid aircraft 7 photos
Photo: Regent Craft
Regent's Electric SeagliderRegent's Electric SeagliderRegent's Electric SeagliderRegent's Electric SeagliderRegent's Electric SeagliderRegent's Electric Seaglider
A Boston-made seaglider called Viceroy is gearing up to provide zero-emission, fast and efficient passenger transportation for the Hawaiian Islands.
Hawaii Public Radio reports that Mokulele Airlines and Hawaiian Electric have teamed up with the Boston-based Regent Craft, an electric seaglider manufacturer. The goal is to bring this innovative type of transportation to the Islands. But before that, the project partners have kicked off a feasibility study.

Several factors need to be evaluated, ranging from infrastructure and community-related ones, to assessing the environmental impact not just in the surrounding area, but below the water surface as well
Hawaii seems like the perfect place for this type of operations, according to Regent CEO Billy Thalheimer, because of the distances between islands, and “the treachery of the waterways.” He claims that this emissions-free hybrid between an aircraft and a boat is not only better for the environment, but can cut the costs of a conventional aircraft down to half. This would help make regional travel more affordable in the future, as well as sustainable.

The vehicle that would be operated by Mokulele Airlines is a 12-passenger seaglider that can hit up to 180 mph (290 kph) while covering distances of 180 miles (290 km). According to Regent, this is six times faster than a conventional ferry. Another benefit is that it eliminates all the issues related to airports, because it operates from dock to dock – it takes off from water using the increasingly-popular hydrofoil technology which is being used for the today’s most efficient boats.

A seaglider is technically a wing-in-ground effect vehicle (WIG). The ground effect is a concept that describes high-pressure air being trapped between the vehicle’s wings and the ground (in this case, the water). This is what the seaglider is riding on when it’s operating at low altitudes (above water). Its wing-mounted propellers enable it to sea-skim (fly very close to the water).

The Regent seaglider is set to start operations by 2026, and not just in Hawaii, bu on other U.S. routes too, such as Boston-New York.
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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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