June 21, 2024

Seaplane: A new electric regional jet can park in the port thanks to foldable wings

Finnish company Atol Aviation is developing a revolutionary seaplane that can carry up to 13 passengers. Thanks to the foldable wings, the electric seaplane can be parked at almost any port.

In the Maldives they are the means of transportation par excellence. Nothing is more practical to connect widely scattered islets than by seaplane. But also in Greece, Croatia or Spain, float-planes are used by small charter airlines to take passengers directly from city ports to the islands or back and forth between the islands. However, they didn’t really catch on.

This surprises the Finnish pilot risotto Pagoniemi no. “Most seaplanes today are old. They have been converted into planes with extra flash. So they are ineffective. In addition, they are unstable on the water and difficult to control there. That’s not all, says Pagoniemi. Docking in the seas is often raging is difficult or impossible.

It accommodates up to 13 passengers

So Pagoniemi set out to do so, and together with aircraft manufacturer Atoll Aviation, developed a seaplane that addresses all of these problems. It’s called the E-Seaplane and should fly for the first time two years after the start of the program, which still needs an outside investor. In the basic version, it should offer space for five to nine guests, in a larger version up to 13 passengers. It is controlled by a pilot.

Atol E seaplane in port: small footprint. Photo: Radiosity Alpha/Mavio News

According to the developer, Atol E-Seaplane has two primary advantages. In the first step, it will have a hybrid electric motor with a propeller mounted at the rear of the tail unit and in front of the cabin, after which it should be able to run entirely electrically. This makes it significantly quieter, which also makes it possible to work in populated areas.

Quieter and more space efficient than previous models

It also has wings that fold back. “This means you can park the plane in almost any port,” says Pagoniemi. So no major infrastructure is required. It is refueled by standing in the sun.

Schematic diagram of the E seaplane. Photo: Atoll Aviation

The first attempts at a small model of the Atol E seaplane have already been successful. “The aircraft will be simple, robust and inexpensive to operate,” promises developer Pagoniemi. Therefore, it is the perfect replacement for the old and special seaplanes. Five years after the start of the programme, Atoll Aviation wants to deliver its first electronic seaplanes to customers.