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All-Electric Seaglider to Connect Hawaii Islands

Aiming to boost accessibility, with zero emissions, the Hawaii Seaglider Initiative has pushed the 'Go' button.

All-electric seaglider by Regent Craft
Credit: HSI

OGN reported on the promising advent of this remarkable part-plane, part-boat back in 2022 when it had completed its first successful test flight.

At the time, Billy Thalheimer, CEO and co-founder of Regent Craft, said: “40 percent of the world’s population lives in coastal communities. These successful flights give us full confidence in our ability to apply this technology at full scale and bring seagliders to global commercial service by 2025.”

It looks like his prediction was spot on as Hawaii's Mokulele Airlines is set to make history as the world's first seaglider operator, expecting to receive a fleet of 12-passenger Viceroy all-electric seagliders from Regent Craft by 2025, providing a boost to both connectivity and sustainable air travel for the islands.

The all-electric, zero-emission vessels are designed for exclusive operation over water at impressive speeds of up to 180 mph (289 kmh). This innovative technology promises to significantly reduce the time and cost of transporting people and freight between coastal communities.

Regent's flagship seaglider, the Viceroy, accommodates 12 passengers, seamlessly transitioning between three modes: hull, hydrofoil, and ground effect flight, with a 160 nautical mile (184 miles) range utilizing current battery technology, which is expandable to over 400 nautical miles (460 miles) with advanced batteries.

The seagliders' operational mechanism involves transitioning from floating on a hull to utilizing underwater hydrofoils, ultimately enabling flight at ultra-low altitudes - hovering just 30 to 60 feet (9 to 18 m) above the water's surface. This novel approach combines the efficiency of water travel with the speed and adaptability of flight, offering sustainable and swift coastal transportation.

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