BMW ORACLE Racing wins America's Cup using a 223 foot wing for a sail
I first read of this in the current edition of American Heritage's Invention & Technology magazine. Not sure that this post should go in this forum but it is more about the wing than it is about being a sail boat.
A wing gives lift for aircraft, lots of lift with a big wing. BMW ORACLE Racing made a 223' wing (a Boeing 747 wing is 102') and mounted it vertically (23 stories tall) and used the same principal that gives lift to an aircraft to move a sail boat through the water. They named the craft the USA-17. The article stated that in testing the USA-17 reached speeds up to 32 mph (28 knots) - about 3 times faster than the prevailing winds. This wing gave them about 6% more speed than the nearest competitor in the race.
The wing has 250 sensors that deliver 26,000 data points per second to an onboard computer that sends the information to a laptop in the helmsman's backpack which in turn sends the information to his wrist PDA and heads-up display goggles. The PDA shows a bar graph that compares current flap angles to predetermined high-efficiency targets.
Here is a picture of the boat.
Here is more information on the wing:
Here is a link to the BMW ORACLE Racing Team web site:
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