ST Engineering’s in-development AirFish 8 wing-in-ground craft will begin trials in the third quarter of this year, paving the way for eventual service entry in 2025. 

The first craft arrived in Singapore from Malacca – where it was built – for the final stages of sea trials. Joint-venture company ST Engineering AirX will work with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore for these tests. 

AirFish 8

Source: Alfred Chua/FlightGlobal

ST Engineering’s in-development AirFish 8 is now in Singapore for sea trials

The AirFish 8 is classified as a vessel, not an aircraft, as it operates “just above the sea surface by using ground effect””, says ST Engineering. 

“The [wing-in-ground] craft utilises the same collision avoidance rules as conventional ships, and is much faster, [more] fuel efficient and hence more sustainable compared to conventional ships,” it adds. 

The AirFish 8 can seat eight passengers and two crew and is powered by two automotive engines. It has a range of 300nm (556km). 

The craft is able to operate up to 7m (23ft) above the sea surface at a cruising speed of 70-80kt (130-150km/h), though technical specifications state that it can operate at a maximum speed of 120kt. The test craft is fitted with Dynon Avionics, along with other maritime navigation and operating systems. 

ST Engineering clinched a launch customer for the craft at this year’s Singapore air show, with Turkish start-up Eurasia Mobility Solutions signing a letter of intent for up to 10 examples. 

On 17 April, ST Engineering entered into a strategic partnership with global testing and certification firm Bureau Veritas (BV), focusing on the classification and certification of the AirFish 8. 

“ST Engineering AirX and BV will also pool their expertise and resources to establish a robust framework for the classification and certification of AirX’s future [wing-in-ground] platforms, and lay the groundwork for the serial production of the AirFish craft,” the company adds.