What is REGENT?

REGENT builds seagliders, an all-electric maritime vehicle that operates exclusively over the water for high-speed zero-emission coastal transportation. REGENT’s flagship vehicle is Viceroy, a 12 passenger seaglider. REGENT is currently headquartered in Rhode Island.

Who founded REGENT?

REGENT was founded by Billy Thalheimer, CEO and Mike Klinker, CTO in late 2020.

Why is REGENT in all caps?

REGENT is an acronym that stands for Regional Electric Ground Effect Nautical Transport. Similar to NASA, REGENT is pronounced as a word rather than an acronym. REGENT is always capitalized.

What is a seaglider?

The seaglider is a wing-in-ground-effect (WIG) vehicle that operates within a wingspan off the water's surface and combines the high speed of an airplane with the low operating cost of a boat. Seagliders are different from past WIGs due to their hydrofoils, distributed electric propulsion, and aerospace fly by wire controls, which enable safe harbor operations, increased wave tolerance, and a comfortable passenger experience. Built to the same safety standards as all modern aircraft and watercraft, our vehicle will service routes up to 180 miles with existing battery technology, and routes up to 500 miles with next-gen batteries, all via existing dock infrastructure.

What is float, foil, and fly?

The seaglider operates exclusively over water, traversing the sea in one of three modes—floating on its hull, using its hydrofoil, or flight above the water's surface in ground effect. Float, foil, and fly are therefore the three modes of a seaglider’s operations that provide maximum safety and efficiency whether transiting a busy harbor on the hull, foiling at up to 40 kts (46 mph, 74 kph), or gliding over the waves at 160 kts (180 mph, 300 kph) at cruise speeds. When seagliders are in flight in ground effect, they operate within a wingspan of the water.

What is a WIG (wing in ground effect vehicle)?

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) defines a WIG as a wing-in-ground (WIG) craft is a multimodal craft which, in its main operational mode, flies by using ground effect above the water or some other surface, without constant contact with such a surface and supported in the air, mainly, by an aerodynamic lift generated on a wing (wings), hull, or their parts, which are intended to utilize the ground effect action. (Source IMO: International Maritime Organization)

Does REGENT operate seagliders or just build them?

Just like an aircraft manufacturer, REGENT is an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) which builds and sells seagliders to other operators. Our operator customers span global aerospace and maritime companies including regional, commercial, and charter aviation companies, as well as shipping, ferry, and maritime logistics companies.

What are the crew requirements for a seaglider?

Commercial seagliders will be crewed by professional mariners with appropriate ratings covering the seaglider vessel and the type of operation. Crews will undergo extensive training on seaglider systems and operations utilizing a mix of online, classroom, simulator, and in-vessel training.

When can I ride in a seaglider?

The first seagliders, our 12-passenger Viceroy, are targeting delivery for 2025 in the United States, followed by operations around the globe.

Have WIG’s existed before?

Soviet Ekranoplanes were among the first WIG vehicles built in the 1970’s. Ekranoplanes and similar WIG vehicles have three major problems: poor wave tolerance, poor harbor maneuverability, and poor safety records. REGENT solves these three problems with technologies including hydrofoils, distributed electric propulsion, a blown wing, digital fly-by-wire controls, and cutting edge maritime situational awareness. REGENT’s seagliders are the first commercially viable vehicle using WIG technology.

Is a seaglider an eVTOL?

No, but REGENT is working in tandem with Urban Air Mobility companies. We envision a future where seagliders and eVTOLs (electric vertical take-off and landing) work together to create an all-electric, multi-modal transportation system. Seagliders will provide regional coastal connectivity, eVTOLs and autonomous cars will provide terminal urban connectivity, and all will share charging infrastructure at transportation hubs. The electric aircraft industry has several common technical features, which all vehicles can share such as next-generation batteries and motors.

Will seagliders have zero emissions?

Seagliders use 100% battery-electric power resulting in zero operational emissions. Even including total lifecycle emissions from battery exchanges and grid power generation, seagliders offer >90% reduction in emissions from other modes of transportation.

How many people can a seaglider carry?

Our first vehicle, the Viceroy, will carry 12 passengers and 2 crew. We are designing our larger vehicle, Monarch, to be able to carry between 50 to 100 passengers and crew.

How fast and how far can seagliders operate without recharging?

With existing battery technology, REGENT seagliders are targeting a 160 nautical mile (approximately 180 sm, 300 km) range and a cruise speed of 160 kt (180 mph, 300 kph). Seagliders will be built with the option to upgrade the battery system as next-generation battery technology matures, allowing for the future of further range extension.

Are seagliders safe?

Safety is REGENT’s top priority. Seagliders go through a rigorous set of design, analysis, and testing activities to help ensure seagliders are as safe as commercial aircraft or high-speed ferry vessels. Seaglider safety is built into the physical design and flight profile, amended by best-in-class digital fly-by-wire control systems and sensor systems. REGENT’s team incorporates the most rigorous aerospace engineering processes in the design and construction of our seagliders. These activities are additionally overseen by independent maritime regulators and classification societies.

What is the certification process for seagliders?

REGENT’s seagliders are regulated as maritime vessels, not airplanes. As a Type A Wing In Ground Effect (WIG) craft, seagliders are regulated as maritime vessels by national maritime authorities (flag states) and international conventions overseen by the United Nation’s International Maritime Organization (IMO). In the U.S., the U.S. Coast Guard is the responsible federal agency for overseeing seaglider design, construction, and operations. Additionally, seagliders will have Classification Notation from an independent Classification Society to ensure their safety and seaworthiness.

How is REGENT funded?

REGENT is a venture backed company with financing from some of the world’s best investors, including funds like Thiel Capital and JAM Fund. We're supported by additional industry-leading financiers including Mesa Air Group, Mark Cuban, Y Combinator, Founders Fund, Caffeinated Capital, and Fitbit founder James Park.