technology

All-electric ‘flying ferries’ will zip passengers to France in 40 minutes


The all-electric ‘flying ferries’ could be in the air by 2028 (PA)

Forget a five-hour ferry to cross the Channel to France, in the future you’ll be able to hop aboard an all-electric ‘Seaglider’.

Each glider will shuttle 150 passengers between England and France at speeds of up to 180mph.

The fleet of battery-powered gliders are designed to ride on a cushion of air trapped between the vehicle and the water’s surface – the so-called ‘ground effect’.

Developed by US start-up Regent Craft, the idea has caught the eye of Brittany Ferries which announced it will be aiming to get them in operation by 2028.

Hopefully, by then, we’ll all be able to travel again.

The Seagliders will move on a cushion of air, much like a hovercraft (MailOnline)

The firm said the part-ship, part-plane may reduce sailing times between Portsmouth and France from five hours by conventional ferry to 40 minutes.

Brittany Ferries acknowledged its plan for ‘flying ferries’ will face ‘technical and regulatory challenges’, but insisted that ‘shouldn’t be a barrier to developing a promising, sustaining technology’.

Jumping on a ‘flying ferry’ will cut the journey time from 6 hours to 40 minutes (MailOnline)

It is advising Regent Craft on practical issues involved in running fast craft due to its experience with the high-speed catamaran Normandie Express.

Brittany Ferries’ ports and operations director Frederic Pouget said: ‘We are particularly pleased to contribute now because it means we can bring real-world challenges and potential applications into the company’s early thinking.

‘We hope this may help bring commercial success in the years that follow. Who knows, this could well be the birth of ferries that fly across the Channel.’

The new way to travel to France (PA)

Regent Craft co-founder Billy Thalheimer said: ‘We are excited to partner with Brittany Ferries to bring the future of maritime transportation to market.

‘Brittany Ferries offers world-class operational experience which will help us ensure that seagliders will be the most convenient and comfortable form of cross-Channel travel.’


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