July 12, 2017 : The world’s first flight of a foiled RIB

After making a Mini 747 fly – a world premiere, SEAir strikes again ! Specialised in making boats fly, SEAir revealed their latest innovation on July 21, 2017 : a Zodiac 5.50 equipped with adjustable and retractable foils.

The first flight took place in excellent conditions. Other system competency outings are planned over the summer.

In order to maintain all the characteristics that made this type of boat popular, SEAir designed an innovative system allowing the foils, placed under the boat’s hull, to be fully integrated under the redan and the floats, while taking up the minimum living space on the boat. The foils move up and down in a shaft, with an adjustable angle of attack. SEAir’s Flying RIB demonstrator has a standard motorisation – Yamaha F115 – with an extra long drive shaft.

The first data collected was detailed and extremely conclusive. The stability and comfort of the boat was impressive, and should be life-changing for future users. The reduced engine load allowed for lower noise nuisance and fuel consumption. May it be in straight lines or sharp turns, in shallow choppy waves and a speed of 15-17 knots, or on calm sea with high speeds of 40 knots, the tests are very conclusive.

SEAir’s summer is all booked up, as many outings with the Flying RIB are planned, with many different test campaigns, both to finetune our settings and confirm the data already collected by the testing systems onboard. While the current results show that the Flying RIB is hands down the most stable RIB, we will be launching a series of tests with an identical boat, equipped with the same testing systems installed onboard, only not set up with SEAir’s foils, to unquestionably prove it.

SEAir’s Flying RIB project had been certified by the Green Tech program run by the French Ministry for Environment, and awarded by The French industrial cluster for advanced manufacturing technologies EMC2. SEAir makes their foils in their own workshops, using traditional methods, while developing new robotic production processes that will allow them to mass produce foils. A foil produced by a fully automated system should be sailing next Autumn.

1 August 2017