Without all that resistance of the water to contend with, the SeaPhantom can rocket along at 120 mph using just a fraction of the V-10â€™s 625 horsepower with radically-improved fuel consumption. This is the “G” factor, sleek design, stylish, comfortable, extremely fast, and yet, very efficient use of fuel. The craft isn’t fighting the resistance and power of the ocean.
Fast boats have their appeal, but hard pounding and massive fuel consumption would leave them useless as practical maritime surface transport – nor much fun for our landlubber friends. Maritime Flight Dynamics’ solution is to fly just above the wave crests, on proprietary shock dampened ‘foils’…. A lifting-body airfoil design carries the craft above the sea surface in ground effect, radically reducing hydrodynamic drag.
Many of the new breed of high-performance boats can travel at triple-digit speeds over the water. Our objective is to make this kind of speed practical, safe, comfortable and efficient – ultimately to make maritime transport a viable alternative to our crowded skies and highways. Imagine: direct travel, city centre to city centre, directly from one waterfront downtown to another; faster than the taxi ride to and from your local airport…. To stretch the imagination to its wildest limits and to create one of the ocean’s most advanced power craft concepts to date.
Basically, the craft’s built-in stability systems – including automated computer controlled gyroscopic feedback- means the craft may be operated by anyone familiar with high performance offshore powerboat operation.
Several computers operate quietly in the background sampling the vessel’s attitude 400 times per second, automatically balancing the craft until manual override steering inputs are registered…. Ultimately, however, safety does not rely not on e-control systems, but instead is based on the passive stability incorporated into the craft’s design.
Outboard, Jet Turbine, or Diesel/Gas Inboard Power: still in the developmental prototype stage is the five passenger proof-of-concept craft: 30′ length overall x 12’6″ beam overall, with an estimated cruise speed of 85 mph, on just under 300 horsepower. The main body flies approximately four feet above average wave crests on three-point shock dampened foils…. Race lower unit, race propeller, low water pick-up, and race style low back pressure exhaust through Mercury racing mid-section.
They will be ideally suited for jet-turbine power driving through counter-rotating stern drive, straight inboard, or experimental water jet…. The first production models will have approximately the same dimensions as the prototype: 30′ loa x 12’6″ boa and can have an optional inboard piston.
The following image illustrates the cleverly minimized exterior glazing, which is designed to mitigate potentially catastrophic wave impact area – yet allow maximum visibility to Mclaren F1 style center-seated pilot.
Future designs will scale our proprietary technology to the size of 1930’s DC3s: 18 – 24 passenger models with projected cruise speeds of 150 knots, flying 8 to 12 feet above the average wave crests, making scheduled travel with impunity, across, for example, the Gulf of Mexico, Coastal US routes, island-to-island throughout the Caribbean, or South Pacific Islands…
The companyâ€™s catchcry â€œHelicopter speed, powerboat priceâ€? explains how effective it is, but the devil is in the detail and this toy is a combination of several technologies, each of them adding a significant dimension to the capabilities. At low speeds, itâ€™s just like a boat, then as it transitions to medium speeds, it lifts out of the water on proprietary shock dampened ‘foils’ which are outboard on each side and are the marine equivalent of a desert race car suspension â€“ long travel and capable of withstanding massive impacts. This is a very serious suspension system with non-corrosive fiberglass leaf springs and billet-aluminum airbags tested to 60,000 pounds for dampening the wave impacts. At these speeds SeaPhantom is like a trike with two wheels (the foils) at the front and one driving wheel â€“ in this case a 625hp Ilmor V-10 running through a propulsion system adapted from an offshore race boat. Once thereâ€™s clear water in front of it, tweak the speed and the lifting-body airfoil design picks it off the water in ground effect, radically reducing hydrodynamic drag. Without all that resistance of the water to contend with, the SeaPhantom can rocket along at 120 mph using just a fraction of the V-10â€™s 625 horsepower with radically-improved fuel consumption.
The number one long-term concern of the US Navy SEAL operative during small boat insertion operations is the accumulative effect of the constant pounding on his body. The average SEAL will complete his career one inch shorter than his enlistment height, due solely to the endless wave impact loads on his spine. Many admirable approaches have been made to mitigate shock loads to small boat combatants at the seat base, but the more logical approach would be to intercept the problem at its source: the sea-surface interaction zone.
Water transportation built the foundations of the modern world but its sedate pace has seen it sidelined as a serious transport alternative for anything but vacations and as a short haul ferry.
The SeaPhantom is considerably faster than an automobile, making it a viable transportation alternative particularly suitable as a watertaxi with a viable range of several hundred kilometres, for police and emergency response teams, and of course, many military applications.