All-electric "seagliders" could someday offer fast, low-altitude flights in coastal communities like the Hawaiian Islands as better batteries, lighter-weight materials, and other innovations are opening the door to flying taxis, drones, and seagliders. "It's a space race all over again," says Billy Thalheimer, CEO of seaglider startup Regent Craft, which is partnering with Hawaiian carrier Mokulele Airlines and investment firm Pacific Current to create a seaglider network in Hawaii. Service is expected to begin by 2025 with a fleet of 12-passenger Viceroy seagliders that will fly like pelicans, at 10 to 30 feet above water, at up to 180 miles per hour. Hawaiian Airlines recently invested in Regent, with an eye toward building a 100-person version by 2028 that would offer a cheaper, faster, cleaner alternative to ferries and regional air service.

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