In 1998 the company launched its first lifting body ship, the 65-foot 52-ton technology demonstrator MIDFOIL, designed and built to demonstrate the performance advantages of advanced underwater displacement lifting bodies (overview). MIDFOIL’s original configuration employed a thick, two-dimensional lifting body fabricated of aluminum, with angled control fins located forward.
Sea - Scientific Ships
Further research and development resulted in an improved lifting body design, and MIDFOIL was modified, refitted and re-launched in 2000. In the modified configuration the original foil was replaced with a paraboloid-shaped, composite three-dimensional lifting body, the angled control fins were replaced with a centerline “T” foil, and an improved ride control system was installed. The demonstrated advantages of the new 3-D lifting body over the two-dimensional foil included reduced wave drag, improved stability, and higher cavitation speeds. MIDFOIL demonstrated outstanding ride quality at all speeds and headings during sea trials in Hawaiian waters. It is currently operated by Navatek as a technology test platform.