Airseas, a pioneer in wind propulsion technology for the maritime sector, has announced a major investment in a new research and development (R&D) centre to accelerate the development of its Seawing kite system towards large-scale production and rollout.
Located in Dakhla (Morocco), the installation will comprise a 2,400m2 hangar and an advanced test bench, offering the opportunity to test the Seawing and its individual components systematically, in a variety of configurations. Dakhla, a world-famous location for nautical sports and kitesurfing, was selected because it offers continuous and stable winds, allowing the Airseas team to perform a range of trials on a daily basis.
This new R&D centre will enable Airseas to accelerate its testing program of the Seawing, a parafoil that flies 300 meters above the sea level to reduce the main engine load for oceangoing vessels, thereby slashing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. This facility will enable Airseas to conduct tests more frequently to validate the final phases of the system’s development, including fine-tuning the flight dynamics. This land-based testing complements the ongoing sea trials program for the Seawing, with new trials scheduled to take place on a vessel owned by K Line in the coming months.
Vincent Bernatets, CEO of Airseas, said: “We are excited to enter this new stage of the Seawing development program, with testing taking place simultaneously on land and at sea to accelerate technological advancement and ultimately make a key decarbonization solution available to a wider number of shipowners. Today’s investment in a state-of-the-art testing centre demonstrates Airseas’ long-term commitment to research and development and to continuously improving our wind propulsion solutions for the maritime sector.
“This comes at a pivotal time, as shipping is under growing pressure from regulators, investors, and its customers’ customers to reduce its environmental impact, starting this decade. We are convinced that wind propulsion will play a central role in this transition, now and in the longer term. Given the urgency of the climate crisis, there is no time to wait, and this is why we are working tirelessly to progress our Seawing system through the final testing stages and towards larger-scale industrialization.”