Exocet Gold
Flight Controler

An advanced flight control technology that can be adapted for industrial use.

We started by flying sailing boats and now fly all types of ships. We bring our expertise to shipyards, designers and project managers to install a flight control system on board any type of hydrofoil vessel. Developed by our design office, our flight control solution is reliable and can now be mass-produced. Our flight controller is already fitted on a wide range of vessels, from ocean-going Ultims trimarans to passenger ships.


Why get equipped ?  

Hydrofoil technology has been growing in popularity over the last few years. Today, it stands for a relevant solution for a vast number of various projects in sailing, but also in maritime transport. As the end user is looking for thrills, performance (energy or speed) or comfort at sea, foilers are becoming increasingly popular. To be able to navigate in the air safely and efficiently, you need specific and adapted technologies. That is our offer.

Depending on the type of foils, a boat can have more or less a stable natural flight. For example, IMOCA boats and Ultims with J, U or V foils have a fairly stable flight. On the other hand, boats fitted with T-shaped foils (TF35s, for example) are quite unstable in terms of flight height: the foils must be constantly adjusted to keep the flight. A flight controller is essential for these boats. It supplies active control of the appendages, the aim of which is to make the flight stable (laterally, longitudinally and in height). For boats whose flight is already stable, the flight controller improves stability and easiness to handle.



Since 2017, driven by the experience of our teams in the America's Cup, Pixel sur Mer has been involved in ocean racing flying boats which are not only our development laboratory but also a true platform for innovation and making our solutions more reliable. In recent years, we have extended the scope of our solution and produced into series complete flight control systems for boats outside ocean racing: for example, we have been equipping the entire TF35 fleet. Today, we are extending our solution to the maritime industry. In doing so, we are contributing to the development of new means of navigation to meet the environmental and decarbonation challenges that is facing the maritime transport industry.


A single point of contact for your project    

Our team manages and ensures the entire hardware and software operational chain, guaranteeing an optimized, high-performance, and secure flight controller whether for a single prototype or for series production. We canprovide all the services and technologies needed to implement a flight control system: data acquisition and processing, the navigation system, flight control intelligence, structural health monitoring and safety. This is what makes us strong and different. 

Who is this technology designed for?  

All equipped ships with foils that want to achieve stable, safe flight: foiling trimarans, catamarans or monohulls, maxi yachts, tenders, taxi boats, passenger ferries and freighters. We provide an expert response to the needs of designers, builders, project managers and owners of hydrofoil boats... Are you looking for a service provider? Choose Pixel sur Mer for its expertise and experience. 



Pour les bateaux à voiles : Gitana Team, Banque Populaire, la flotte des TF35 

Pour les bateaux à moteur : Tyde (dans sa version prototype), LMG Marin en simulation 


We enable our customers not only to navigate more safely, but also to fly more often and reach higher speeds.  

  • One point of contact with all the skills needed to offer you a reliable and safe flight control system: choose Pixel sur Mer and reduce your development and testing times thanks to our expertise.
  • Control system reliability: a wide range of parameters are monitored to detect any defects. Our technology includes sensor failure management and an alarm system to alert the crew. In case of an anomaly, the flight controller automatically stops the flight (or switches to a secondary system), ensuring the safety of not only the platform but also the crew, the passengers, and the equipment it carries.  
  • A solution that considers the specific architectural features and geometry of boats
  • Height, a key element of our flight control solution: the fusion of height measurements and motion measurements is essential to estimate the boat's height above the water with great precision. Our expertise in data fusion gives us a real-time estimate that is highly robust to the presence of sea spray and waves, which naturally degrade height measurements.  
  • Our flight controller is particularly good at managing banked turns in flight. The move is very smooth and stable. A comparison with the results of other systems shows that we have a clear technical lead on this point.  
  • Our solution works in a large range of sailing conditions, even in case of deterioration: flight control works even if the sea rises, as long as the geometry of the foils allows it. 

Beyond our skills and technological mastery, it is our experience that makes the difference. In fact, our flight control algorithm, which continuously manages the foil position, is inspired by the aerospace industry which is a true reference in the field. As proof, our controller is already successfully equipping a wide range of sailing or powered foilers, which attests of its reliability. 


  • Outstanding reliability : 
    • High-level equipment: we choose the processor(s) to fit your needs:  
      • Our Exocet Gold, marinized and specially designed for ocean racing, which won the special mention at the Dame Award 2021 
      • A programmable logic controller suitable for industrial use, with proven durability 
    • Multiple fault detections (sensor failure, operating defects, etc.) and breakdown management to avoid crashes. 
    • Possibility of processor redundancy: if the primary system fails, a secondary system immediately takes over. 
  • Compatible with all types of platforms: flying ferries, flying tenders, flying sailboats. 

  • Performance : Advanced control algorithmes. 
    • Allowing banked or flat turns, as needed 
    • Take-off and landing management to take off as early and smoothly as possible. 
    • Inspired from the aeronautics and space industries, adjusted by an "AI" in the design office to obtain greatest behavior at all speeds, for all loading conditions and in very rough seas. 
    • Validation on a simulator to guarantee a very short testing period on the water. 
    • Ride height estimation using a fusion of inertial measurements and height sensors: very robust and centimeter accurate in all sea conditions.

  • Easy to use and monitor: 
    • Data recording with our Exocet Blue 
    • Data visualisation on Grafana server 


Depending on the complexity of the project, our teams will work for 1 to 3 months prior to sea trials (if a simulator is provided), followed by 1 to 3 weeks of sea trials. The duration of our involvement can vary according to your requirements and the progress of your vessel's construction. We try to coordinate our work as closely as possible to fit in with the various stages of construction and testing that you have planned.

On average, we work on an ad hoc basis over a period of 4 to 6 months.

We supply a complete flight control system for prototypes or series of boats. Here are the distinct stages in a collaboration for the supply of a flight controller:

In the Prototype phase, our services include:

  1. After examining your request and specifications, we evaluate your needs and send you a technical and commercial offer.
  2. Once our collaboration has been confirmed, we propose a pre-study phase during which we can help you choose and validate the design of the vessel and some of the functions specific to your project.
  3. Next comes the phase of adapting the software and hardware of our flight control system to your vessel and implementing your specific, customized requirements.
  4. The simulator test phase (supplied by the customer) for setting parameters and configuration is optional but valuable because it saves time in fine-tuning and increases efficiency during the sea trials phase, resulting in a considerable reduction of the time spent at sea.
  5. Implementing the controller on hardware (Exocet Gold and/or programmable logic controller)
  6. Integration of the complete system on board of the platform (optional)
  7. Time for sea trials and adjustments to real conditions
  8. The final part of our work concerns the drafting of the documentation: drafting of a sea trial test report, the documentation describing the implemented system, the user manual, etc.

Please note that working on a simulator is optional, but we strongly recommend it for several reasons: it allows us to validate the vessel's dimensions under dynamic conditions with flight control, it speeds up development and limits the time needed for validation at sea.

In the series production phase, our service includes:

  • A package for moving to the series will be invoiced for the first copy only. It includes documentation such as a user manual, installation procedure, and hardware nomenclature.

  • Then for each boat:
    1. A hardware package
    2. A system integration package (optional)
    3. A license to use the flight controller

Complementary products and serviceset

  • Exocet Gold 
  • Optic Fibre instrumentation service
  • Exocet Blue 


Contact us