Flying ferries that will take passengers across the Western end of the English Channel in as little as 40 minutes are being planned by Brittany Ferries.
The battery powered craft, called seagliders, are part ship and part plane.
That would cut times between Portsmouth and Cherbourg in Northern France from 5-6 hours to just 40 minutes.
“Seagliders combine the convenience of passenger ferries with the comfort of hydrofoils, the aerodynamic efficiency of hovercraft and the speed of aircraft,” Brittany Ferries said.
They work by harnessing ground effect, a phenomenon well-known to pilots.
This is the cushion created by high-pressure air that is trapped between wings and the ground or water while flying at low altitude.
Brittany’s flying ferries would carry between 50 et 150 passagers.
Les plus lus dans les actualités
They should be able to operate from a jetty or small pier as well as a port, opening up the possibility of travelling from Weymouth, Newhaven or Brighton.
The firm is developing the seagliders in conjunction with a Boston-based start-up called Regent which expects the first commercial passengers to travel on small version of craft by 2025.
“Seaglider is an attractive and exciting concept and we look forward to working with Regent in the months and years to come,” said Frédéric Pouget, ports and operations director for Brittany Ferries.