The high-flying Quadrofoil hydrofoil is ready for production
Unlike the U-boat Worx HP Sport Sub 2 that’s designed to outperform octopi under the water, the Quadrofoil has been developed to provide hydrofoil performance above it. When Gizmag first reported on the Quadrofoil back in 2012, the Slovenian craft was still in its prototype stages, but now it’s ready for production and available for global pre-order.
The radically finned Quadrofoil is described as a hydrofoiling personal watercraft (PWC), but unlike other PWCs the Quadrofoil produces marginal noise pollution, zero emissions, and creates only the tiniest of waves. As a result, the company claims the quad-finned watercraft could in theory access more environmentally sensitive areas where noise and wave disturbances are prohibited.
Available in two models and capable of carrying two adults, the Quadrofoil, without foils attached, takes up 1.5 m (5 ft) from side to side, while standing 1.2 m tall (4 ft) and measuring just under 3 m (10 ft) in length.
The Q2S has a 5.5 kW motor and longer lasting 10 kWh batteries and is said to be good for a top speed of 40 km/h (21 knots) above the water. The cheaper Q2A gets its power from a QE 3.7 kW electric motor and 4.5 kWh batteries and tops out at 30 km/h (16 knots).
The company reports a full charge in 2 hours and a range of 100 km (54 nautical miles) for the Q2S model, while the Q2A’s range is cut in half to 50 km (27 nm).
Using C-foil technology, the Quadrofoil's specially-shaped water wings provide the necessary lift forces to get the craft out of the water at only 12 km/h (6.5 knots). Made of composite materials and weighing in at only 100 kg (220 lb), the craft is relatively light and the designers claim it is unsinkable thanks to its hollow hull construction.
The craft's cockpit is a simple, straightforward affair. The video game-like steering wheel features an integrated touch screen that provides key information such as range, speed, battery power and consumption. The steering wheel also manages all the craft’s functions and, in a novel anti-theft move, it doubles as the Quadrofoil's key. The higher end Q2S comes loaded with goodies like GPS, depth meter, navigation lights and fake leather upholstered seats.
Since the initial launch in 2012, the designers have made a number of technical changes and improvements to the craft. A new outboard motor in conjunction with the craft’s hydrofoils are now controlled simultaneously via a new steering system. The result is reported to be a more stable, more agile craft. Drift control has apparently been improved to provide more precise handling characteristics.
The C-shaped hydrofoils, upgraded from the initial prototype model, now provide better stability and efficiency on the water. A new quick coupling system also now allows users to attach and remove hydrofoils without tools.
In terms of safety, the Quadrofoil designers have developed a new anti-collision system to absorb forces in the event of an accident. The makers have also added life jackets, a paddle and a whistle should the craft toss the occupants into the drink.
The limited edition Q2S is available for US$28,000 on pre-order now, with the Q2A version costing significantly less at $18,700. The Quadrofoil series is due to ship in March 2015.
The video link below shows the Quadrofoil PWC on a picturesque Slovenian lake.