Regent, a Boston-based start-up, is developing a glider that can fly over water using the ground effect.
This new all-electric seaplane glides over the water like a hovercraft
Exactly the same physical principle on which the giant Russian MD-160 ekranoplane is based, which gave so much to talk about a few months ago and whose future is still uncertain.
The main difference between a Regent plane and a seaplane is that the latter can soar hundreds – if not thousands – of meters above the surface thanks to the fact that its wings and engines are capable of providing lift beyond the surface.
On the other hand, the ground effect used by the American glider is an aerodynamic phenomenon that occurs when the high pressures generated in the lower area of the wings collide with the ground, producing an increase in extra pressure and, therefore, lift.
“The speed, comfort and navigation systems of an aircraft together with the utility, maneuverability and affordability of a boat”, are the pillars on which the company is based.
The intention of its creators is to combine the best of a boat, being able to operate on the surface of the water and maneuver even in the most complex areas and all the positive points of not suffering the waves while moving from point to point.
The test version will have a wingspan of 15 feet [4.5 meters] and will weigh around 400 pounds [181 kilograms].
The wingspan of this ekranoplane will be around 18 meters. The company plans to use its technology to link relatively close coastal cities, given the range of 290 kilometers.
Regent’s project may be a shock to short-radio communications between ports, which are currently served by ferries.
The maximum speed is stipulated at 290 kilometers per hour and is designed to operate in existing port infrastructures.
The routes that the company already has in mind go through connecting large port areas such as Boston with New York or Los Angeles with San Francisco. Similarly, make short trips and transfers in the Bahamas, Croatian islands and in the Caribbean.