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CNN10 2023-03-01

CNN 10

UK Food Supply Crisis; The Sea Glider: The Future Of Travel. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired March 01, 2023 - 04:00 ET


COY WIRE, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Hello, everyone. Wonderful Wednesday to you. I know we're just halfway through the week but we're going to keep grinding and shining because that's just what we do.

I'm Coy. This is CNN 10, and we've got a rendezvous with the news.

We're going to start with news on a vegetable shortage in the United Kingdom. Certain fruits and veggies are having to be rationed at most major supermarkets and four of the biggest supermarkets in the United Kingdom say they're putting purchase limits on some staple items like tomatoes peppers and cucumbers.

Experts say this could go on for months. Some farmers are saying that they're not harvesting any tomatoes, peppers or eggplants when they usually do at this time of year. A number of factors like bad weather conditions in Spain and Morocco, high energy costs over the winter and even the impact of Brexit and the labor shortages are causing the lack of production.

Here's CNN anchor and correspondent Isa Soares in London who's been speaking with local shoppers.


ISA SOARES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Row upon row of empty baskets, empty shelves. A supply gap in fruit and veg has hit UK supermarkets, the shortages affecting shoppers nationwide.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I went for lunch, and I couldn't find it like tomatoes cucumber or lettuce.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was quite annoying when you weren't trying to get your private day in, and you can't actually get it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The fruits I want to they're gone, nothing there.

SOARES: To deal with the shortages, major British supermarkets are imposing limits on items like tomatoes cucumbers and peppers.

The UK's minister for the environment food and rural affairs said a disruption should only last a few weeks, and meanwhile encouraged people to eat more seasonally. Let them eat turnips, she said.

THERESE COFFEY, UK MINISTER FOR ENVIRONMENT: I'm conscious that consumers want a year-round choice and that is what our supermarkets and food and growers' food producers and growers around the world try to satisfy.

SOARES: Supermarkets are blaming the recent shortages on poor weather conditions in key growing regions. Britain produces a fraction of the food it consumes, relying instead on overseas imports.

And key supplies in southern Europe and North Africa, in particular Spain and Morocco, have seen harvests hit by extreme weather conditions.

But while climate change plays a significant role in warmer than average temperatures, the government faces another inconvenient truth -- Brexit, the cause of widespread supply chain disruption.

LIZ WEBSTER, CHAIR OF SAVE BRITISH FARMING: Because of the interruption with trade and Europe who kind of underpin our food supply, it means that there's less food coming in from Europe. We're producing less food. So basically, our food security is in real trouble.

SOARES: Labor shortages due to a lack of migrant workers and soaring energy prices following Russia's invasion of Ukraine have pushed the gap even wider as farmers struggle with front-end costs. And those costs are passed on to the consumer. Consumers already grappling with record high grocery prices and the worst cost of living crisis in decades.


WIRE: Ten-second trivia:

Where would you find the world's oldest airport?

Paris, France; Hamburg, Germany; Maryland, USA; or North Carolina, USA?

Flights began at Maryland's College Park Airport in 1909 when Wilbur Wright trained two military pilots.

And up next, we're continuing with part two of our feature from yesterday on the future of travel. New technology in the years to come will likely change travel as we know it forever. The planes, trains and automobiles we use today may someday be as antiquated as the horse and buggy.

Thought leaders in the travel industry are formulating plans that might make travel faster, cheaper and safer. From hyperloops to air taxis to supersonic jets, here's CNN's Rahel Solomon with more on "The Next Frontier".


RAHEL SOLOMON, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From highways to railways, flight paths to bike lanes, we have plenty of mobility options on the ground and in the air.

But could the next frontier in transit take place over water?

One sea-bearing startup is looking to turn coastlines into corridors.

BILLY THALHEIMER, CEO, REGENT: Water transportation is super important because 40 percent of the world lives within coastal communities.

I'm Billy Thalheimer, co-founder and CEO at Regent.

MIKE KLINKER, CTO, REGENT: I'm Mike Klinker, one of the co-founders and CTO at Regent.

THALHEIMER: The next frontier is better transportation and when I say better, I mean efficient and sustainable. It's faster, it's easy and affordable and accessible.

SOLOMON: Rhode Island-based company Regent is aiming to enhance the way we travel between seaboard cities and islands with a new mode of transportation, the sea glider.

KLINKER: The sea glider is really a mix between a boat and airplane. You took the two, smashed them together.

THALHEIMER: They combined the affordability and accessibility and convenience of a boat, of ferry transportation with the high speed and long ranges of an aircraft.

SOLOMON: The all-electric maritime vehicle is designed to float, foil and fly along dock-to-dock routes.

KLINKER: The sea glider has three modes of operation. It can be floating so like a normal boat would, floating on the surface of the water, driving around in the inner harbor areas. It has a hydrofoiling mode where you're up above the surface of water on these still so the passengers and the vehicle are insulated with any waves. The last mode is the fly mode.

SOLOMON: The sea glider takes advantage of a few water and air efficiencies to operate. Underwater wings called hydrofoils help lift the sea glider, reduce drag and allow for a smooth ride above the waves. When it's time to take off, the hydrofoils retract and the sea glider won't fly within a wingspan of the water surface, benefiting from an aerodynamic principle called ground effect to glide along a cushion of air.

KLINKER: The sea gliders were powered by 12 by 100 horsepower electric motors and propellers on the leading edge of the wing. Those are all fueled by battery technologists, the same batteries that go into electric cars today.

SOLOMON: The first sea glider called Viceroy will carry 12 passengers, two crew and service short hauls up to 290 kilometers at speeds just under 300 kilometers per hour.

Regent is still in the prototype phase, but Thalheimer says they've already proven that technology works.

THALHEIMER: Regent just hit our two-year anniversary. We built the first sea glider prototype and actually proved that this mode of transportation is possible.

This is how we typically test our quarter scale prototype sea glider. So, we're really experimenting with all operations floating, foiling.

When you get out of this tight area like this out into the open water, that's when we take off and we become that wing and ground effect that high-speed flying vehicle.

SOLOMON: And inside, they're developing the avionics which will be operated by a captain.

KLINKER: There's really two ways that you control the sea glider. You have a power lever and a side stick joystick. So, think of it like you can turn left right with the joystick and you can go tell the vehicle to go fast or go slow. It's very intuitive, much like driving a car or driving a boat.

SOLOMON: While Regent seems to be moving along rather quickly, the co- founders say it has an all been smooth sailing.

KLINKER: One of the biggest challenges for building a sea glider is that we are really pushing physics to the max. So, it's really the combination of all these different really advanced technologies that allows us to do this full mission, but it's really a physics challenge for us.

THALHEIMER: I think the other challenge we had was just the fact that this is so new this has not existed before. So, as we've gone out to customers, there's a lot of education we need to do. You know, what is it? How does it work? How is it crude? How is it certified?

SOLOMON: Thalheimer says they have a $7 billion backlog in pre-orders across the airline and fairy industries. As for next steps, Regent is currently building a full-scale prototype and has ambitions for passenger test flights by the end of 2024, and by 2050, they hope to have large capacity sea gliders in operation with ranges up to 800 kilometers.


WIRE: For today's story getting a 10 out of 10, sticking with our aviation theme, a record-breaking paper airplane. A team of young Boeing engineers put themselves on the map when they set a new Guinness World Record by folding, then flying a paper airplane that went 290 feet. Holy origami, that star near the length of a football field y'all. It took them minutes to fold the plane just right, making sure to craft it with as much weight as possible, helping them create the greatest amount of momentum after the toss.

Speaking of map, dad joke alert, I got an email the other day explaining how to read maps backwards. It was spam.

Shout out to Stevens Middle School in Pasco, Washington. We see you.

And I'll see all of you tomorrow. I'm Coy Wire and we are CNN 10.