The flying ferry will quickly take passengers across the strait in just 40 minutes
Brittany Ferries is planning to take a flying ferry to take passengers to the western end of the English Channel in just 40 minutes.
Battery-powered aircraft, called sea gliders, are part boats and part airplanes.
This will reduce the time between Portsmouth The journey to Cherbourg in northern France has been shortened from 5-6 hours to 40 minutes.
“The glider combines the convenience of a passenger ferry with the comfort of a hydrofoil, the aerodynamic efficiency of a hovercraft and the speed of an aircraft,” said Brittany Ferries.
They work by using ground effects, which is a well-known phenomenon for pilots.
This is a cushion formed by high-pressure air trapped between the wings and the ground or water during low-altitude flight.
The flying ferry in Brittany will carry 50 to 150 passengers.
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They should be able to depart from the pier or small pier and port, thus opening up from Weymouth, New Haven or Brighton.
The company is working with a Boston start-up company called Regent to develop sea gliders. The company expects that by 2025, the first commercial passengers will travel in small aircraft.
Frédéric Pouget, Director of Ports and Operations of Brittany Ferries, said: “Seaglider is an attractive and exciting concept and we look forward to working with Regent in the coming months and years.”