Technology 3 min read

Meet the Electric Flying Boat That Could Solve a Global Traffic Crisis

Dan Collier /

Dan Collier /

With so much attention on flying cars, it’s easy to miss news on a new electric flying boat. Yes, a flying boat already exists and SeaBubbles showed it off in Miami this weekend.

SeaBubbles is a start-up company that combined nautical, aviation and intelligent software technology to create an impressive boat design. Using foils, the boat can hover and travel in rough water with reduced drag. Simply put, the boat can fly.

As a result, it consumes less energy and keeps passengers in the cabin relatively comfortable too.

About SeaBubbles’ Electric Flying Boat

The founders of SeaBubbles, Alain Thébault and Anders Bringdal, had a vision. They wanted to reduce traffic congestion in major cities and help the environment at the same time.

So, they decided to take advantage of the waterways. People can move around in fast water taxis, they thought.

In a statement to TechCrunch, Bringdal said;

“Every city has waterways — ones that are fairly unused. Think about having a giant freeway that goes straight down the center of the city, and no one uses it… why is that?”

In an attempt to build “fast water taxis,” they created the electric flying boat.

Now, you may say that current boats work just fine. Not only are they relatively fast, but comfortable too.

But, Bringdal argues that the standard boat comes with the conventional combustion engine. That means you have to pay an additional $70 to $130 for fuel every day.

Since SeaBubble’s flying boats come with an all-electric design, it’ll save you the cost. Instead, you have to charge the vessel in a power station, preferably one powered by solar energy.

How the Flying Boats Works

Although the boats’ engines are from Torqeedo, the fly-by-wire software was designed by flight control systems engineer Ricardo Bencatel’s company, 4DC Tech.

Speaking to the tech blog, Bencatel said;

“The [SeaBubbles] boat has three main sensors — it has two high altitude sensors to measure the height of the water, then it has a gyroscope — like the one in cell phones.”

Using measurements from these sensors, the computer could quickly detect the height, speed, and angle of the boat. Then, the software combines the information to adjust the boat’s flaps automatically.

So, instead of worrying about the boat’s height, the boat operator needs to turn the wheel and drive. So, how does the boat fly, you wonder?

According to reports, it only happens when it reaches a certain speed.

When driving under six knots, the boat experiences 100 percent drag. However, when you increase the speed above eight knots, the drag reduces to 60 percent and the boat flies. As a result, the ride becomes less bumpy.

SeaBubble’s boats are packed with IP67 waterproof lithium-ion batteries that should offer 2.5 hours autonomy and 35-minute recharge when the boats become publicly available.

Although a hopeful solution to widespread congestion, a steep suggested retail price of $200,000 could poke a hole in the company’s plans.

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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    Shannon Harrington March 30 at 7:56 am GMT

    I think it’s overly optimistic to think that electric flying boat will solve all of our traffic problems.

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