Auto-stabilizing SeaBubble fuel cell hydrofoil unveiled in Cannes
Back in 2019 we heard about the sleek electric Bubble Taxi, a five-seat enclosed hydrofoil created by French manufacturer SeaBubbles. The company has now announced a bigger and faster model, simply called the SeaBubble.
Unveiled in full-size form this month at the Cannes Yachting Festival, the SeaBubble is 8 meters long by 3.5 m wide (26.25 by 11.5 ft ft), accommodates up to 12 passengers, is propelled by two 45-kW motors, and is powered by a hybrid system incorporating both hydrogen fuel cells and a lithium-ion battery pack.
Once the craft reaches a speed of 10 knots (12 mph or 19 km/h), its composite fiber hull is raised 60 cm (24 in) out of the water on three automatically deployed carbon fiber foils – one in the front, two in the back. It can then smoothly cruise at a speed of 18 knots (21 mph or 33 km/h).
According to the designers, one 4-minute charge at a hydrogen gas station should be good for a runtime of 2.5 hours when travelling at that speed. Its top speed is 22 knots (25 mph or 41 km/h).
Like the Bubble Taxi, the SeaBubble utilizes gyroscopic and altitude sensors to measure pitch and roll angles constantly, automatically stabilizing itself accordingly. Some of its other features include gull-wing doors, heating/air conditioning, and a fly-by-wire system. Optional extras include an audio system, higher-quality seats, an anti-fouling system, and tinted windows.
There's currently no word on price, although SeaBubbles has stated that the first units are already in production.