We’ve been anxiously awaiting the next phase of Regent’s announcement over a year ago of the development of the world’s first electric sea glider. It is touted as being part airplane and part boat. The goal is to advance sea travel be it for pleasure or distribution of products. For this, it has developed the Viceroy, a 12-passenger electric sea glider. Now, it has received Approval in Principle (AIP) from the Bureau Veritas Marine and Offshore.
Bureau Veritas is a testing, inspection, and certification service group that organizes quality, safety, environmental, and social responsibility issues for manufacturers. Says Regent, “This offers a clear path for the vehicle’s classification as a wing and effect maritime vessel.” It is one of the most prominent classification societies with over 190 years of reviewing and approving seagoing vessels.
What is the certification process for the Viceroy sea glider?
For the past 10 months, Bureau Veritas engineers have smoked over every aspect of the Viceroy. From here, it will go through appraisal oversight. Part of the specialized nature of a passenger sea glider would be the comfort and safety of said passengers.
So it must be able to operate as a WIG vehicle. But it also must float on its hull in heavily trafficked areas and near docks, like a boat. Once beyond those obstacles, it must ascend to travel with its airfoils initially to 45 mph. Once in open waters, it has the capability to reach top speeds of over 180 mph. And it needs to do this without its batteries needing to be charged, for obvious reasons.
What kind of range does the Viceroy sea glider have?
Once certified for operation, it will keep to routes within 180 miles with a maximum of 12 people. For travel from Long Beach or Dana Point, California, for instance, it could make three round trips to Catalina Island before needing a charge. And it could accomplish one-way travel to and from the island in under 10 minutes. Currently, it takes over an hour one way. So you can see the distinct advantages of electric sea glider travel.
And those numbers are based on current battery technology. Regent says it could potentially see 500 miles of range by the time the Viceroy is ready for production. It anticipates that happening in 2025. The company currently has raised over $7 billion in orders to now. So the need and anticipation for its sea glider portend a profitable and prolific future. Both aviation and ferry customers have been the bulk of the orders so far.