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L’opérateur de traversiers allemand FRS opte pour des planeurs à effet de sol tout électriques pour compléter sa flotte (en anglais)

PROVIDENCE, R.I.- REGENT, the company leading the development and commercialization of the revolutionary all-electric seaglider, announced  that FRS, the worldwide ferry operator based in Germany, has entered into an agreement to add REGENT seagliders to its fleet. 

Seagliders provide harbour-to-harbour, overwater transportation at a fraction of the cost, noise, and emissions of existing regional transportation modes such as aircraft and ferries. The German based FRS will focus the initial seaglider service in its domestic and international operations. 

“We’re excited to be partnering with FRS to provide cost-effective, zero-emission passenger travel and cargo solutions,” said Billy Thalheimer, CEO of REGENT. “FRS has been a leader in maritime innovation for many years, pioneering a distributed operating model that is well suited for the global deployment of seagliders. From the United States, to Europe, to the Middle East, look for bright red FRS seagliders lowering the cost, time, and emissions of coastal travel soon.” 

FRS is the latest addition to REGENT’s growing portfolio of international customers, which includes Ocean Flyer in New Zealand, Split Express in Croatia, and Brittany Ferries in the United Kingdom and France. 

The partnership between REGENT and FRS is for building and operating of two seagliders types: the Viceroys, each holding up to 12 passengers or critical cargo up to 3,500 lbs in 746 cubic feet, and the Monarchs, which can hold up to 100 passengers. REGENT’s international and domestic commercial sales book now totals more than US$7B. 

“REGENT´s seagliders fit perfectly to our product range in many of our worldwide operations,” says Moritz Bruns, Director Business & Corporate Development of FRS. “Providing safe and fastest travel possibilities, be it for commuters, tourists or even cargo clients is part of our DNA. The strategic partnership with REGENT enables us to further expand our route network and offer our clients new and unique travel possibilities and experiences around the globe.” 

The REGENT seaglider is an all-electric wing-in-ground effect vehicle, meaning it flies low (within one wingspan) over the water to take advantage of numerous aerodynamic and operational efficiencies, enabling increased payload capability and greater range than other electric aircraft concepts. The seaglider operates in three modes: from the dock, the vehicle first drives on its hull like a traditional boat. As it leaves the harbour area and speeds up, it rises on its retractable hydrofoil, which offers significant wave tolerance and a smooth ride as it leaves a crowded harbour. Upon reaching open water, the vehicle transitions onto its wing, retracting the foil and accelerating up to cruising speed—all while staying within a wingspan of the water’s surface. Driving a seaglider is enabled by coupling advanced digital flight software with simple boat controls. 

On September 22 2022, REGENT’s electric seaglider became the first-ever vehicle to successfully utilize three modes of maritime operation—floating, foiling and flying— marking a major step forward in maritime transportation.

Earlier this week, REGENT also partnered up with French multi-energy company TotalEnergies to explore the use of REGENT’s all-electric seaglider for maritime travel to offshore wind and oil platforms. The collaboration will comprise information exchange, active requirements development, and use-case validation.

The partners will identify global offshore energy sites and pilot the REGENT seaglider along a route to a selected platform. Following the initial pilot, REGENT and TotalEnergies will explore new routes and conduct additional pilots to drive forward longer-term cooperation opportunities.