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Brittany Ferries explore 'flying ferries' concept.....


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Presumably if they put solar cells on the wings that will help the range and efficiency.

I'd even be happy to plug my electric car in and give them 20% of my battery power to get across in 40 minutes and then have a leisurely lunch in Cherbourg while I top my car up for the trip south. 

Ed

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Surely the speed would be reduced by towing all those cars through the water?

Not a practical option really as it just duplicates airline travel. The vast majority of BF customers want to take their cars loaded with home comforts and the kitchen sink etc.

NEX might be a bit slower but you can still put your car on board.

Where is the market for something like this? After all you can only board and disembark at a beach type location instead of a proper airport.

All nonsense really as a commercial proposition.

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It is June the 15th. and not 1st. April???????????????

If I wanted to fly I think I would use an airport, I use ferries because, in the main, the air is much cleaner and not re-circulated umpteen times with a bit of make up from an engine by-pass. It is a far more civilised way to travel, even if the seas sometimes conspire to make the journey uncomfortable.

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This type of transport does have some practical limitations, the main one being sea state as even slightly lumpy seas would make take off / landing interesting. Not sure how obliging The Channel will be.

The regulations regarding this service will be interesting as in the EU / US they are classified as maritime transport, whereas as the CAA classifies the vehicle as an aircraft. So double maritime / aeronautical licensing for vehicle and crew. (IMO says they are ships).

If BF plans go ahead will they develop beyond the small passenger shuttle, the large Russian versions could a hundred tons of cargo; Boeing and the Russians at one time had plans for 2000 tons plus cargo versions, so cars a possibility. How much would you pay to travel across Portsmouth to Cherbourg with your car in an extra 10 minutes compared to a Eurotunnel trip?

Edited by Shipping Forecast
Clarity
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7 minutes ago, Barry Thomas said:

use ferries because, in the main, the air is much cleaner and not re-circulated umpteen times with a bit of make up from an engine by-pass.

The hull / fuselage is unpressurised due to almost sea level flight so would be completely fresh air. The wing top deck might be a bit breezy though.

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The fact that they've signed a letter of intent suggests they are pretty serious on this, but I pray this never sees the light of day! I love ferries for what they are, a leisurely relaxing way of travel. I can remember back in 1993 the Sunday Times ran a story that these wing in ground effect craft were going to be running from Dover to Calais by 1995! However as I said this proposal looks more credible. And is yet another threat to traditional ferry travel. The fast ferry concept nearly changed everything and promised to replace all conventional passenger ferries in the 90s but never quite managed it.

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23 minutes ago, nodwad said:

Don't even know why we are talking about it is a none starter and I think I have better things to do then read this rubbish on here.goodnight stay safe

😒 there is always one........It is not rubbish as it has come from an official news source. And nobody is forcing you to read it. It has become quite a large news story and I created it as a topic as it is ‘news’ on a bfe forum - for those interested to give their opinions on it.

I would like to add they are not replacing traditional ferries, it would appear they are being CONSIDERED as an option for people who want to cross quickly without a car etc, as you would on an aircraft. I am amazed at how much offence it had caused!

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35 minutes ago, Nick Hyde said:

I can remember back in 1993 the Sunday Times ran a story that these wing in ground effect craft were going to be running from Dover to Calais by 1995!

Sea Wolf Express has been going to launch a similar service between Helsinki and Tallinn for at least the last 5 years using Russian built Ekranoplans.

32 minutes ago, jonno said:

They'll need to perfect lithium sulphur batteries first.

Regent's investor bumpf says can do 180 mph for 180 miles on current battery technology.

5 minutes ago, Le Quiberon said:

I would like to add they are not replacing traditional ferries, it would appear they are being CONSIDERED as an option

BF are now the first launch customer shown on the manufacturers home page with BBC coverage too.

In 2025 the 12 passenger version is not going to be a threat, and even the future version with 50 passengers. Traditional ferries are far more at risk from multi modal operations and automation, tunnels and the public deciding not to travel where the ferry does or buy goods that are transported by ferry.

This is about giving people choice and if one part of the business helps / promotes other parts then all to the good. One group it will attract is quick trippers to visit a friend or family with minimum travel overhead.

The company behind the GEV have raised millions in investment from experienced VCs who have invested in some of the biggest growth companies today, so not an ether operation. And Regent are not the only company developing this form of travel so hardly a will-o'-the-wisp idea. The Widgetworks Airfish springs to mind.

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The BF/Condor partnership would be an ideal way to trial this type of service, allowing an inter-island service that's not affected by fog (which generally coincides with calm seas) and onward links to Portsmouth etc. 

Ed

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Surely though if this concept proves commercially feasible, logic would suggest much bigger car carrying craft would be on the horizon? After all this was the aim before with earlier concepts and route proposals.

 

20210616_073758.jpg

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The SRN4 Hovercraft was a much more viable proposition carrying 57 cars and 380 or so passengers and could tolerate 6 metre seas (passengers not so much). A ground effect ferry/plane would really struggle with choppy seas. They are great for lakes, but not much else. Then add in time to get to safe take off area outside of the harbour and away from errant yachties and such and it gets to be too much compromise. A flying ferry would really struggle to get through harbours at a very slow speed. Even Sea Cats have to slow down and do the whole manourvres thing which compromises their speed and efficiency, but imagine having wings to act as nice big rams to take out masts and rigging.

The reason why the hovercraft worked so well at Dover was because it was 22-35 minutes load door down to load door down again and they had a clear path to the speed up zone.

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