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December 2023

 

Seaflight completes year-long prototype test campaign with a series of world-first flights

Missions over the Coral Sea in Queensland, Australia, were the first ever autonomous "ground effect" flights over open ocean, among other records.

A few world-firsts were achieved during Seaflight Technologies' sub-scale prototype drone testing off the coast of Far North Queensland, Australia. The week-long test campaign was the culmination of 1.5 years of flying multiple wingship prototypes, and was designed to push the limits of what's possible when flying autonomously just a few feet above the surface of the ocean for maximum aerodynamic efficiency.

Our friendly flying robot CC Seaflight completed multiple mission loops near Townsville not far from the Great Barrier Reef, covering over 10km per flight and multiple flights per day. Testing was originally postponed by the arrival of Cyclone Jasper, a category 4 storm that provided some challenging wind and sea states long after it passed the region, meaning that Seaflight's trials were a real test of the conditions!

To the best of the company's knowledge this was the :

🌊 First uncrewed wingship - an ultra-low altitude "wing in ground effect" or WIG craft - to fly out over the wide open sea, anywhere in the world (nowhere to hide from wind and waves, it was the real deal!)

🏝️ First uncrewed wingship to fly in the tropics
(testing in the most challenging and relevant conditions - high heat, high humidity)

⚓ First uncrewed wingship to fly with formal regulatory assignment of vessel type (WIG) including allocation of a unique vessel identifier from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority
(points the way for next steps towards commercial operations with a larger version)

🦘 First ground effect craft of any kind to fly in Australia in >20 years
(since the Flightship in the early 2000's)

🔋 Add the word "electric" to any of the above, of course!

🐠 All impossible without the help of ReefWorks, Australia’s tropical marine technology test ranges, at the Australian Institute of Marine Science!

 

Seaflight Technologies

Contact:
media@seaflight.tech

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