Transport: All-electric ‘flying boat’ with the world’s first AI-powered hydrofoil system

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The world’s first AI-powered, all-electric hydrofoil — which automatically stabilizes itself for a smoother ride — has been demonstrated at the Venice Boat Show.

The craft – the Candela C-7 – was presented today during the second iteration of the nautical event, which will be held at the Venetian Arsenal until June 6, 2021.

The long-haul boat, which has a range of 50 nautical miles, is able to reduce water friction by up to 80 percent by rising out of the water on its hydrofoils.

This makes the all-electric vessel – which sells for around £192,000 – competitive with its fossil fuel-powered ilk, with a maximum speed of 30 knots.

In fact, the C-7 has three times the range of most electric boats.

The world's first AI-powered, all-electric hydrofoil (pictured) — which automatically stabilizes itself for a smoother ride — was demonstrated at the Venice Boat Show

The world’s first AI-powered, all-electric hydrofoil (pictured) — which automatically stabilizes itself for a smoother ride — was demonstrated at the Venice Boat Show

The vessel, the Candela C-7, was presented today at the second edition of the Venice Boat Show, which will be held at the Venetian Arsenal until June 6, 2021.  Pictured: The C-7 is put to the test in the Venice Lagoon, with St. Mark's Square in the background

The vessel – the Candela C-7 – was presented today at the second edition of the Venice Boat Show, which will be held at the Venetian Arsenal until June 6, 2021. Pictured: The C-7 is put to the test in the Venice Lagoon, with St. Mark’s Square in the background

The long-range boat, which has a range of 50 nautical miles, is able to reduce water friction by up to 80 percent by rising out of the water on its hydrofoils, as pictured

The long-range boat, which has a range of 50 nautical miles, is able to reduce water friction by up to 80 percent by rising out of the water on its hydrofoils, as pictured

Hydrofoils (shown) are lifting surfaces — analogous to the wings of an airplane wing — that operate in the water.

As a hydrofoil gets faster, the foils lift the hull out of the water, reducing drag and allowing greater speeds.  Pictured: The Candela .'s C-7 rear wing and propeller

Hydrofoils (left) are lifting surfaces – analogous to the airfoils of an airplane wing – that operate in the water. As a hydrofoil gets faster, the foils lift the hull out of the water, reducing drag and allowing greater speeds. Pictured: The Candela .’s C-7 rear wing and propeller

ABOUT HYDROFOILS

Hydrofoils are lifting surfaces – analogous to the wings of an airplane’s wing – that operate in the water.

As a hydrofoil gets faster, the foils lift the hull out of the water, reducing drag and allowing greater speeds.

Hydrofoils were first conceived by the Parisian engineer Emmanuel Denis Farcot in 1869.

“The C-7’s computer-controlled foiling system provides an almost completely silent driving experience and a very smooth ride, even in choppy conditions,” said Sweden-based manufacturer Candela.

“With experience in fighter jet technology and aircraft design, we designed the Candela C-7 to be extremely light, yet stiff and strong.”

“The computer-controlled trim makes driving as easy as holding the handlebars, even in crosswinds and rough weather,” they explained.

The craft’s controls – including touchscreen interfaces – are connected to the cloud, enabling wireless updates and remote service to optimize the C-7’s performance.

“The hull is made of vacuum-infused carbon fiber, which means the Candela C-7 weighs significantly less than comparable boats,” Candela said.

Both the front and rear wings can also be retracted for ease of transport, storage and shallow water operation.

The all-electric vessel - which sells for around £192,000 - competes with its fossil fuel-powered ilk, reaching a maximum speed of 30 knots.  In fact, the C-7 has three times the range of most electric boats.  Pictured: Candela spokesman Mikael Mahlberg steers the C-7

The all-electric vessel – which sells for around £192,000 – competes with its fossil fuel-powered ilk, reaching a maximum speed of 30 knots. In fact, the C-7 has three times the range of most electric boats. Pictured: Candela spokesman Mikael Mahlberg steers the C-7

The craft's controls - including touchscreen interfaces - are connected to the cloud, enabling wireless updates and remote service to keep the C-7's performance optimized

The craft’s controls – including touchscreen interfaces – are cloud-connected, enabling wireless updates and remote service to keep the C-7’s performance optimized

“With experience in fighter jet technology and aircraft design, we designed the Candela C-7 to be extremely light, yet stiff and strong,” said Candela.

“With experience in fighter jet technology and aircraft design, we designed the Candela C-7 to be extremely light, yet stiff and strong,” said Candela.

Both the front and rear wings (shown) can also be retracted for ease of transport, storage and shallow water operation

Both the front and rear wings (shown) can also be retracted for ease of transport, storage and shallow water operation

The view of the Candela C-7 on Venice’s waters is striking – the swell of the water caused by boat traffic is one of the main forces eroding Venice’s foundations and endangering the fragile ecosystem of the lagoon.

However, the electric boat’s hydrofoil system helps reduce wake to just 5cm, meaning it’s less destructive to sail around the lagoon – as well as less noisy and disruptive to marine life.

Candela is also working with local authorities in Stockholm to provide water taxi transport using the Candela P-30 – a larger electric hydrofoil that can carry 30 passengers at speeds of up to 60 kilometers per hour.

More information about the C-7 speedboat can be found at the Candela website.

Candela is also working with local authorities in Stockholm to provide water taxi transport using the Candela P-30 (pictured in this artist's impression) - a larger electric hydrofoil that can carry 30 passengers at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour

Candela is also working with local authorities in Stockholm to provide water taxi transport using the Candela P-30 (pictured in this artist’s impression) – a larger electric hydrofoil that can carry 30 passengers at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour

“The computer-controlled trim makes driving as easy as holding the handlebars, even in crosswinds and rough weather,” they explained. Pictured: the Candela C-7

“The C-7's computer-controlled foiling system provides an almost completely silent driving experience and a very smooth ride, even in choppy conditions,” said Candela of Sweden.

“The C-7’s computer-controlled foiling system provides an almost completely silent driving experience and a very smooth ride, even in choppy conditions,” said Candela of Sweden.

CANDELA C-7 STATS

Pictured: the Candela C-7

Pictured: the Candela C-7

Range: 50 nautical miles @ 20 knots

Maximum speed: 30 knots

Power: 40 kWh lithium-ion battery

Capacity: Five people

Length: 25 feet (7.7 meters)

Width: 7.9 feet (2.4 meters)

Cost: about £192,000

shell: Carbon fiber

Style: Open top with cruiser cover

First released: 2019

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