REGENT, a startup that received over $9 million in funding last year for its ambitious new coastal cities transportation seaglider, thanks to investors from Shark Tank, has announced plans to manufacture and build its “electric seaglider” in the United States.
Yes, we said electric seaglider, but don’t feel bad if you don’t quite understand what that is. The company describes its seaglider as an all-new type of vehicle that can “float, foil, or fly” at speeds upwards of 180 MPH. So it’s essentially a boat combined with an electric plane.
REGENT has announced that it’s moving forward with a “proof of concept” vehicle, and its first seaglider prototype will be built by the Moore Brothers Company. The company specializes in unique builds, composite manufacturing, and other high-end projects and is based in Rhode Island.
Thanks to a typical boat design, the Regent craft can dock or take off from harbors, then hover above the waves with a retractable hydrofoil. However, once the pilot gets away from no-wake zones and other boats, any water line becomes a runway for the electric plane aspect. Then, with a turn of the throttle, the electric plane can reach speeds of 180 MPH, flying just above the water, low enough that it won’t need regulatory approval from the FAA to fly.
Think of it as an electric boat and plane version of an Uber or Taxi, which hovers above the water at high speeds. Regent wants to make trips between coastal cities fast, affordable and efficient. With beautiful coastline views instead of passengers sitting in a train or underground tunnel. The goal is to transition away from fossil fuels during passenger transportation, without being a plane or a car.
Suppose the Moore Brothers Company can successfully build the floating and flying contraption prototype. In that case, REGENT wants to start testing it later this year, start production and offer passenger travel by 2025.
The seaglider is considered a Wing in Ground Effect craft, or WIGs, which means it won’t have to deal with the FAA approval process and instead works with the Coast Guard. If that holds true, the project could be fully functional far quicker than typical airline startups.
As reported in 2021, REGENT plans to run test flights in the Boston Bay area in late 2022, then eventually offer quick passenger travel options in coastal cities. Locations include large hubs like L.A. to San Francisco, short trips between Hawaii Islands, down the NYC coastline, and much more.
If this project ever truly gets off the ground—or water—and starts flying, we can’t wait to see it.