This Flying Passenger Ship is Ready to Soar

Hydrofoil technology transforms maritime travel.

Dec 11, 2023
This Flying Passenger Ship is Ready to Soar | Hydrofoil technology transforms maritime travel.

Flying commuter boats are the stuff that movies are made of, and not a part of real life, until now. A Swedish electric boat maker is coming closer to making this a reality with electric flying ferries heading into production for a commercial rollout in a waterway near you.

While electric hydrofoil technology is already in use in waterways in Europe and the US, the Candela P-12s have a greater capacity and are designed for commercial use, reported Electrek.  With the successful completion of test flights behind them, it should be clear sailing for the company.

A step towards sustainable maritime transportation
The newest flying boats are a major breakthrough for sustainable maritime transportation, according to a press release from the company. Since marine transport is responsible for 3 percent of global carbon emissions, electric vehicles are a way to green the industry.

Candela has made a commitment to speeding up this transformation to a fossil-free future for maritime transit. The P-12 30-seat shuttle is actually cheaper to purchase and run than other electric options due to its hydrofoil efficiency and extended range battery. The fuel savings is estimated to be up to 90 percent compared to diesel vessels.

“With the P-12, we’re not just offering a faster, more comfortable electric alternative to fossil fuel-powered vessels. We enable operators to make the switch to sustainable vessels that are cost-effective and profitable, a crucial step towards clean oceans and lakes,” Candela’s director for Commercial Vessels Erik Eklund said in the press release.

The shuttle configuration is just one of three models that include the P-12 Business, and P-12 Voyager. The shuttle seats 30 passengers and has the lowest operational cost in the industry. There is even space for bicycles, strollers, and wheelchairs.

“The P-12 is a platform that will cater to a vast range of clients. Whether it's public transport fleets, VIP services, or private customers, it will revolutionize how we travel on water,” said Gustav Hasselskog, Candela’s CEO.

A better experience for passengers
The P-12s are designed for more than just sustainability. Every part of the vessel design has been revolutionized to provide a better overall performance and passenger experience. Boarding has been made easy by an extendable automatic bow ramp that is adjustable.

The turnaround time is under two minutes per ferry stop due to the vessels maneuverability that even allows it to move sideways. When flying, the digital flight control system can account for waves by adjusting the angle of the hydrofoils. This provides a smooth ride free from the pitching and rolling that can lead to sea sickness.

These ferries were designed for waterfront cities, like Stockholm, where maritime transport has dwindled as land transportation like  buses and cars have been faster and more economical.  Candela hopes to reverse the trend.

“Today, in many cities, congested roads are common while waterways — humanity's oldest transport infrastructure — remain underutilized for rapid commuting. The P-12 will let you use these waterways as green highways, enabling fast intra-city connections. Often, the quickest route is by water,” Hasselskog said.

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Bonnie has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.