Following 16 months of development, the foiling Candela C-8 electric boat has completed a successful first test on waters near to the company’s headquarters in Lidingö, Stockholm, Sweden.
When reaching its take-off speed of 16kts, the Candela C-8 prototype P-01 lifts out of the water to provide a smooth ride at a cruising speed of 20kts. By utilizing computer-controlled hydrofoils, the Candela vessel is able to use 80% less energy than normal boats powered by lithium-ion batteries. This enables the C-8 to travel further and at higher speeds.
While a conventional planing hull has a 4-to-1 lift-to-drag ratio, the hydrofoiling Candela C-8 has a 20-to-1 lift advantage. At a speed of 20kts, the vessel – fitted with a silent Candela C-POD direct-drive electric pod motor – can travel for 50 nautical miles on its 44kWh battery.
A flight control system adjusts the hydrofoils automatically to ensure the vessel stays level when flying over waves or in side winds, and a low energy usage means the boat produces almost no wake behind it.
The C-8 also features fly-by-wire steering, a first for the leisure boat sector, along with an Autopilot system which can automatically steer the vessel’s selected compass course.
More than 70 Candela engineers and technicians helped to design the C-8 for mass production, with the company aiming to produce 400 units per year in 2014.
“This first flight marks a huge moment not only for Candela, but also for the powerboat industry,” commented Gustav Hasselskog, CEO, Candela. “The C-8 is not only designed to be the best electric boat, it is designed to be a far better experience than conventional powerboats. I hope we can drive the transition to emission-free boating at a very fast pace.
“This successful first flight brings us one step closer to serial production. We’ll now perform a rigorous flight test campaign to ensure reliability and maturity. We’re on track to deliver the first C-8 units this summer.”