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Sea Bubbles: flying taxis testing postponed to March 2018

Published on 12 September 2017 By Elodie D.
Sea Bubbles

Paris trips Sea Bubbles up. These flying taxis, that are said to be tested on the Seine river by late September, will finally navigate in Paris from March 2018 and aim at making the Seine river a common means of transport so that you can cross the city of lights in less than 15 minutes!

You have to wait until Spring 2018 to see weird machines navigating on the Seine… Initially planned for late September, Sea Bubbles testing are postponed 6 months later because of technical and regulatory constraints.

On the one hand to improve the system enabling to make the driving available to everyone and on the other hand for speed issues. Actually, these machines can “fly” at a maximum speed of 32mph and cannot reduce it. Yet, the Seine limited speed is set at 7.5mph in the city center and 11.2mph outside. According to Voies Navigables de France (Navigable Waterways of France), a steadfast speed promises a great deal of discussions.

Called “Sea Bubbles”, these flying boats seem to come straight from sci-fi movies and imagined by navigator Alain Thébault. Able to accommodate up to 4 passengers and one pilot, this new means of circulating is electric and rather simple to use.

Sea Bubbles

In concrete terms, how does it work? Under each machine, there are wings propelled by two electric motors. When started up, they take off and lift but they still touch the water. Notwithstanding, the rubbing is reduced by 40% in comparison with a boat hull.

These “flying” boats will be tested in March and Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo will be in one of them. She’ll be one of the first to try them and she reveals “This is far from anecdotal. Sea Bubble will be a means of transport that potentially embodies the future taxi service on the Seine River, I think”.

If everything goes as planned, in March 2018, five to ten Sea Bubbles should be in use and available as experimental fluvial taxis so that they can cross Paris in less than 15 minutes.

Here’s what the charging station will look like:

Sea Bubbles : les taxis "volants" débarquent sur La Seine à Paris en mars 2017

If Paris will be the first city in the world to try these Sea Bubbles, other great cities crossed by rivers are interested, like Geneva for example.

So, what do you think of these Sea Bubbles?

For more information, check out Sea Bubble official website!

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