Wfoil 18 Albatross: WW1 seaplane with modern hydrofoil design can hit 50 knots
By Mike Hanlon
May 21, 2012
We're not quite sure why the sudden interest in hydrofoil innovation in Slovenia, but last week's Internautica event saw the release of two different and quite radical recreational hydrofoil craft. The first was the Quadrofoil electric hydrofoil sportscar for the water, and the second is the wFoil 18 Albatross, a cross between a WWI seaplane and a modern hydrofoil which is capable of 50 knots.
The work of pilot, flying instructor, yacht and airplane builder Tomaž Zore, the wFoil 18 Albatross is designed to merge the feeling of flying with sailing.
The wFoil 18 Albatross is actually two boats in one - fitted with a 75 kW Rotax 912 engine, the two-seater is capable of 50 kts, and by removing the engine and adding the sail, you get a sailing craft with an almost unbelievable top speed of 40 kts.
A special 60 knot version of the sailing craft is being readied for an attempt on Hydroptere's 51.36 knots world sailing speed record.
The Albatross carries two people and wFoil claims a trailer-to-water time of under 30 minutes for the hybrid seaplane-hydrofoil.
If you think the wFoil 18 Albatross is radical, the company's start-up funding is equally so. It is searching for 12 people who will pre-pay a less-than-market price for the first twelve wFoil 18 Albatross produced, so it can kickstart production of 20 units a year.
The wFoil 18 Albatross ZERO (indicating it is one of the initial "Series Zero" prototype series) will be based on the prototype wFoil 18 Albatross, which had its maiden sea flight on March 21 at Portorož, Slovenia.
This first test at sea is documented in the video below.