Sumary of This boat-plane hybrid could transform inter-city commutes:
- (CNN) — At a time when transportation infrastructure projects seem to be taking center stage in US public debate, a Boston-based start-up backed by some of Silicon Valley’s most prominent investors wants to turn the sea lanes along the country’s east and west coasts into high-speed transit corridors.
- Regent’s founders have aviation backgrounds — including degrees in aerospace engineering at MIT and a stint at Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences — but they turned to the seas for inspiration when they started looking for new, sustainable ways to transform inter-city travel.
- Billy Thalheimer and Mike Klinker have raised $9.5 million from the likes of Y Combinator, Mark Cuban and Peter Thiel, among other investors, to reimagine the wing-in-ground effect (WIG) concept and turn it into a mainstream means of transportation with zero emissions.
- Wing-in-ground effect vehicles are a kind of boat-aircraft hybrid.
- The idea sounds straightforward, but ground effect vehicles have to deal with a number of issues that have, so far, prevented their more widespread adoption.
- It’s a hybrid that preserves key advantages of ground effect vehicles while tackling some of their disadvantages.