Global aerospace and defense industry leader Lockheed Martin has announced a major investment in Regent, developer of an electric ground-effect aircraft that will use distributed electric propulsion to travel overseas. The investment by Lockheed will help expedite the development of Regent’s seagliders for defense applications.

Regent’s seaglider seeks to combine the high speed of an airplane with the low operating cost of sea vessel. The aircraft will be fully-electric, and can to travel up to 180 miles in a single hour. The company’s vision is that the aircraft will be used to transport people and cargo between coastal destinations. It will be able to carry a total of 12 passengers, or up to 3500 lbs of payload.

Regent’s seagliders intend fulfill a need within the U.S. Department of Defense for high-speed, low-cost, runway-independent travel. Configurations are currently being planned for cargo and military personnel, but also for civilian and even luxury commercial travel.

Above: Concept Defense and Luxury interiors by Regent

With the new investment by Lockheed Martin, development of the Seaglider has received a major boost.

Said Billy Thalheimer, co-founder and CEO of Regent, “We see defense strategy evolving toward an island-hopping force featuring agile, affordable, and distributed craft. This investment is a strong signal that seagliders can fill this immediate need in the high-priority missions faced by our Department of Defense. Lockheed Martin’s expertise and resources will be invaluable as we work together to adapt seagliders for defense use cases that are critically important to national security”

Said Chris Moran, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Ventures, “This investment reflects our commitment to innovating technologies that have the potential to transform the way we adapt to our customer’s needs and support mission success.”

Above: Footage of a recent prototype flight of the seaglider

Regent has already received orders for over 400 aircraft to date, mainly from commercial air travel customers like Japan Airlines, Mokulele Airlines, Southern Airways Express, FRS (Germany), and Ocean Flyer (New Zealand). In total, this has brought Regent’s order book up to $7.9B USD.

Why it’s important: Although Regent has also received many customers in the commercial transportation sector, this investment from Lockheed Martin shows the aircraft’s high potential for Defense as an initial break-through industry. Investments from major global leaders like Lockheed-Martin lend major credibility to new kinds of electric propulsion aircraft, and provide a way for them to prove their immense value propositions. By making this investment, Lockheed has signaled its interest in the development and application of these kinds of aircraft, as well as helped Regent to speed its path to commercialization.

Source // Regent, Globe Newswire


Posted by Benji