Episode 129 - Zero Emission Island Hopping with Seagliders

No airport security. 180 mph cruise speed. Zero emissions. This is the future of island hopping in coastal regions around the world made possible by a completely new mode of transportation: all-electric seagliders.

As a pioneer in sustainable maritime mobility, REGENT recently achieved a revolutionary first in aviation for foil-to-wing take-off. We sat down with Billy Thalheimer, Co-Founder and CEO, REGENT, for an exclusive interview on his company’s ground-breaking Wing-in-Ground Effect (WIG) technology. He explains how seagliders are essentially two vessels in one—a hydrofoil ferry in the harbor that can take off onto its wings. Staying within about a wingspan of the water, seagliders can service routes up to 180 miles with existing technology, and 500 miles with upgradeable batteries.

Backed by some of the world’s premier investors, including Mark Cuban, REGENT is transforming regional air travel, decarbonizing maritime, and pioneering the first successful foil-to-wing flight.

Meet Our Guest

Co-Founder and CEO, REGENT

Billy founded REGENT after years spent as an aerospace program manager, business development leader, and multidisciplinary aerospace engineer. He is experienced in leading all aspects of the aircraft development process - from business case studies, first napkin sketches and requirements definition; through trade studies, detailed performance analysis, and production; and culminating in flight test and operations.

During his time at Aurora Flight Sciences, Billy was responsible for developing new programs in vehicle design and technology maturation to support Aurora’s portfolio of future air mobility solutions. He additionally led technical program execution, financial management, and strategy for eVTOL aircraft programs; and worked as an air vehicle conceptual design engineer, leading sizing and performance modeling for Boeing's electric air taxi and authoring Aurora’s conceptual design code.

Billy holds a BS and MS from MIT’s aerospace engineering program and continues to hold close relationships with the MIT community. As a passionate aerospace nerd, he spends his free time competing as an aerobatic pilot and participating in student outreach events.

Our Host


Innovation Strategist & Co-Founder, Brulte & Company

Grayson Brulte is an autonomous mobility advisor and consultant who provides strategic counsel and political insights to help clients navigate what’s next.

As an SAE strategic partner since 2017, Grayson brings his in-depth industry knowledge to host SAE Tomorrow Today. His unique perspective factors in economics, politics and technology into one-of-kind weekly conversations with innovators changing mobility and its impact on society.

Grayson is a thought-leader who regularly provides insights to publications including Bloomberg, Reuters, The Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Hollywood Reporter and Forbes. His written opinions and insights have been featured by organizations including the Consumer Technology Association in presentations to the Federal Trade Commission.

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