All-Electric passenger vessel Seaglider to fly after LR certification

A 12-passenger vehicle that combines the speed of an aircraft with the convenience of a boat becomes a reality.

REGENT Craft Inc. firm said that it aims to have humans on board its 12-passenger seaglider prototype this year, with vehicles to market by mid-decade. 

Seagliders are all-electric hydrofoiling wing-in-ground-effect vessels that operate within one wingspan of the water’s surface.

The manufacturer of all-electric seagliders REGENT has already secured that class society Lloyd’s Register (LR) will provide certification and advisory services for REGENT’s 12-passenger Viceroy seagliders, as the firm announced on May 29.

The Rhode Island-based company said that the class society LR will provide seaglider certification in support of international flag state administrations, as well as advisory services through the maritime certification process with the US Coast Guard.

Seagliders are a novel type of maritime vessel that operate a few meters above the water’s surface, combining the higher speeds of a light aircraft with the low operating costs of a maritime vessel. 

REGENT’s flagship seaglider, Viceroy, is a 12-passenger vehicle that travels at 180mph to service routes up to 180 miles on a single charge.

Taking a risk-based approach in the absence of existing rules and regulations, LR will support REGENT through the maritime certification process, including advancing its design basis agreement (DBA) with the US Coast Guard and defining the certification pathway for non-US seagliders.

This process and the engineering data derived from this partnership will help define LR rules for future WIG vessels, including REGENT’s 100-passenger Monarch seaglider.