In what could be a major development in commercializing ground-effect vehicle (WIG) technology to produce sea-level ferries known as gliders, Boston-based startup REGENT Craft will work with Bureau Veritas Marine and Offshore to assess REGENT’s initial designs. The objective is to obtain a classification for what combines designs of airplanes and hydrofoils but is regulated as a vessel.
REGENT declares that it has completed the first step of the risk-based qualification process for new technologies, as documented in Bureau Veritas. This process will lead to a Design Approval (AIP) of the Glider Glider in 2022. BV is reviewing designs for a 12-passenger Victory Glider. Obtaining the classification rating is a necessary step before starting the prototype and commercial production of a new vessel.
Gliders would operate just above the surface of the water (REGENT)
“Glider classification is an important aspect for our customers who wish to operate gliders and obtain insurance worldwide,” said Billy Thalheimer, CEO of the company. “REGENT is delighted to be working with Bureau Veritas as part of this qualification process, given its expertise and experience with complex maritime vessels. “
According to the company, the design of an in-ground wing-effect electric vehicle incorporates the latest advancements in maritime and electric aviation to provide fast, sustainable and inexpensive transportation between coastal cities. Ships will operate a few meters from the water’s surface and combine the high speed of aircraft with the low cost of operating ships. With existing battery technology, REGENT says it is possible to service routes of around 180 miles at speeds of up to 160 knots. They believe future battery technology will allow it to operate at distances greater than 400 miles.
(Video courtesy of REGENT illustrating the concept)
“Bureau Veritas looks forward to working with REGENT to classify this new wing-in-the-ground ground effect vessel,” said Laurent Leblanc, Senior Vice President, Technical and Operations, Bureau Veritas, Marine and Offshore. “Underwater gliders provide Bureau Veritas with an opportunity to assess the safety and suitability of advanced systems, including electric propulsion systems, high-speed hydrofoils and fly-by-wire digital control systems. ”
REGENT and Bureau Veritas have been working together for several months and have established certification acceptance criteria and the technological maturity scale that will apply to the vessel, integrating the level of technological readiness, the difficulty of integration and the operational conditions, which will be used to determine the qualification processes. that each system and subsystem will undergo and comply before the vessel receives its classification certification.
In June 2021, Brittany Ferries, which operates across the English Channel and in Europe announced that it had reached a preliminary agreement with REGENT. The ferry operator said he was exploring the glider as a future high-speed option.