Regent has released video of its remarkable Seaglider prototype in flight testing. The first machine to combine the efficiency advantages of ground effect and hydrofoiling in a single design, it promises revolutionary speed and range in coastal areas.
Wing-in-ground effect (WIG) aircraft such as the Soviet-era Ekranoplan have shown promise in the past, but they're yet to take off, so to speak, as a mainstream form of transport. These low-flying birds ride on a cushion of air between their wings and the surface, which gives them a significant lift and efficiency boost over regular planes flying higher in the air – as long as they stay within their own wingspan of the surface beneath. This extreme altitude restriction means that while ground-effect aircraft could fly over land, it's too dangerous for regular operations, and they typically stay over water.