Simon Willison’s Weblog


The benefit of ground effects are:—10-20% range extension (agreed, between 50% and 100% wingspan, which is where seagliders fly, the aerodynamic benefit of ground effect is reduced compared to near surface flight)—Drastic reduction in reserve fuel. This is a key limitation of electric aircraft because they need to sustain powered flight to another airport in the event of an emergency. We can always land on the water, therefore, we can count all of our batteries towards “mission useable” [...] Very difficult to distribute propulsion with IC engines or mechanical linkages. Electric propulsion technology unlocks the blown wing, which unlocks the use of hydrofoils, which unlocks wave tolerance and therefore operations of WIGs, which unlocks longer range of electric flight. It all works together.

Billy Thalheimer, founder of REGENT