This Flying Boat Can Travel 345 Miles on a Full Tank

What happens when a boat and a plane merges? Here is the answer.

If the video player is not working, you can click on this alternative video link.

Flying boats are nothing new; the idea first emerged in the mind of Henri Farman, the French aviation pioneer, and then the American aeronautics lead Glenn Hammond Curtis flew his Curtiss Model E in 1912. A decade later was the start of a golden age for aviation, and since then, technology has been advancing rapidly; and flying boats, which might appear more impressive than conventional land-planes, are having their fair share. 

One of the latest cutting-edge vehicles, the AirFish 8 is a plane boat hybrid that can fly as high as 23 ft (7 m) over the water. Powered by a compact V8 car engine, it can reach 122 mph 196 km/h) and travel 345 miles (555 km) on a full tank. When the journey is over and it lands on water, the hybrid craft docks at sea like a regular boat does.

Advertisement

The parent company Widgetworks was inspired by a post-WWII design by Dr. Alexander Martin Lippisch and plans on commercializing the craft after its completion. Able to accommodate up to 8 passengers and 2 crew members, the AirFish 8 is not exactly doing perfectly at the moment. The vehicle has some maneuverability issues below 6.2 mph (10 km/h), and struggles when avoiding boats, or even docks. The company will be adding variable-pitch propellers to the design to overcome the issue in the long run, along with a second engine to make sure the craft takes off quicker and has an easier time accelerating pre-take-off at 1,640 ft (500 m) mark.

The AirFish 8 is not a one-of-a-kind flying boat, but it'll definitely make you want to take a ride in it when it's finally available on the market. 

Follow Us on

Stay on top of the latest engineering news

Just enter your email and we’ll take care of the rest:

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe at any time.