Monday, July 18, 2011

BMW Oracle USA-17 Racing Yacht

Wired reports: [edited]

Being able to sail more than three times the speed of the wind requires some hefty engineering.

The big brains behind BMW Oracle's USA-17 racing yacht placed a rigid wing sail on top of the 90-foot trimaran's three carbon-fiber hulls. The 223-foot sail - the largest ever constructed - is split vertically into two pieces, and the rear section is made of multiple panels that can be individually adjusted, much like flaps on a jumbo-jet wing.

The design allowed the yacht to average 26.8 knots in just 7 knots of wind during its winning run at the 2010 America's Cup.

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