Matt Prior: Is it a bird or a plane? No, it’s an ekranoplan Car News

I know it says “car” on the header of this website. No bike, skateboard or freestyle chair, and certainly no ekranoplan. But I hope you will forgive the diversity.

The photo above is of a “flying ferry” – a description which is, I guess, correct and, unlike “flying car”, which I am willing to accept (due to general excitement, anyway).

Brittany Ferries is investigating a ground-effect concept that could allow this battery-powered electric Seaglider (a very fancy name) to carry 50 to 150 people across the Channel by 2028.

Regent, the American start-up behind the technology, estimates the Seaglider could travel up to 180 mph, transporting it from Portsmouth to Cherbourg in as little as 40 minutes.

Another name used for this type of craft is ekranoplan, from when the Soviet Navy tried it in the second half of the last century. And if you want to look at your watch and realize that you last did it hours ago, documentaries about it are worth spending an evening online.

Not quite a hydrofoil, not quite a boat, not quite a seat at the highest table in the automotive industry. airplane, ekranoplan, Seaglider, GEV or any other generating enough lift to put a layer of high pressure air under its wings, on which it then flies. Kind of like a hovercraft without a skirt.

But the reason we can’t board at Dover already is that they weren’t problem free when the Soviets tried them out, so I doubt they are now.

Even once you’ve overcome the hurdle of introducing complex corrosive mechanisms into the salt, ekranoplans don’t like rough seas; and launching what is effectively an aircraft that cannot change altitude in the world’s busiest waterway at nearly 200 mph will require some thought.

And if you think that sounds like the kind of wheezing a business might get when they want their name and logo featured in the media when people are considering booking a car vacation, I think it is. is an incredibly cynical prospect. And by the way, have you noticed that Brittany Ferries offer car ferry crossings for as little as £ 180 at the end of August, when Brest and Giverny will be particularly scenic?

But whether or not it comes to fruition, I’m excited that we’re thinking about different ways to get around. When I was a kid you could take a hovercraft to France and a Concorde to the United States, but now you can’t do either. So Seaglider’s proposal and the fact that United Airlines recently agreed to buy supersonic airliners are reason to be excited.

My only beef is to be realistic about what the Emperor is wearing.

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This notice was published: 2021-07-01 23:01:23

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