Case example:

Hydrofoil Education and Research Platform (HEARP)

In 2019, Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) was granted a subsidy in the "Blue Route" programme  to set up a research project for lift control of hydrofoil craft (Projecten | NWO).

Besides the theoretical modelling of hydrofoil control, the researchers should also be able to validate their findings in a real application.

For this reason, Flying Fish was asked to design and prototype a hardware test setup, known as the Hydrofoil Education and Research Platform (HEARP)

As customer, TU Delft set up a list of requirements that the HEARP was required to meet. After iterating with Flying Fish, the driving customer requirements in the design are:

- The model shall be suitable for outside testing

- The model shall be suitable for testing in the TU Delft towing tank

- The model shall be self-propelling

- The model shall be fitted with 3 inverted T-hydrofoils

- The model shall accommodate mounting the hydrofoils at variable locations

- The model set to the baseline configuration shall automatically regulate the height in the TU Delft towing tank as well as outside on the open water.

Many more requirements were set, for example on the remote control aspect and the interfaces used.

Flying Fish has worked via the V-model for engineering to systematically design the various subsystems of HEARP. After the concept design, our team designed:

- The hydrofoil modules

- The propulsion module

- The sensor and data processing unit

- The control and actuation systems that allow the modules to rotate with two degrees of freedom.

We used 3D-printing, PCB design and open-source control platforms to integrate these parts and create a design that meets the specific requirements from our customer.

Now, HEARP allows researchers and students to study different types of hydrofoil control systems in the towing tank facility of TU Delft, but also in open waters such as lakes.

For more background info, see:

Hydrofoil education and research platform (

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