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Lazarus 01-28-2008 06:47 PM

Wind car
This is amazing. Man have we gone backwards. Check out the elegance of this car made in 1973. That is what needs to be reinvented for the X prize. :turtle::turtle:


1970s Jim turned his attention to sail design, inventing new rigs for small sailboats that greatly increased their efficiency. When his then teenage son, Douglas, asked him to design an iceboat, Jim dreamed up a vessel of extraordinary beauty and astonishing aeronautical potential that attained speeds 4.3 times the speed of the wind.

MetroMPG 01-28-2008 06:56 PM

That's amazing. Need to dig up more information...

NoCO2 01-28-2008 07:45 PM

How on earth do you get your vehicle to do faster then the power that is propelling it? I need to do more research on this, very nice post.

MetroMPG 01-28-2008 08:17 PM

Sailing craft "create" their own wind when they start moving.

With proper sail design, trim & a low resistance hull (or chassis), the faster you go, the more apparent wind your sails "see". If you take advantage of the increasing apparent wind speed by trimming the sails (and/or adjusting your heading - because the apparent wind direction also changes), you can just keep creating more apparent wind and more acceleration (up to a point).

An optimized sail, well trimmed, on an optimized low resistance hull (hydrofoil, in this case) can do amazing things... like this:


basjoos 01-28-2008 08:37 PM

The sailboat speed record is 56mph was set is 2005. The iceboat speed record is 143mph set in 1947. The land yacht speed record is 116mpg set in 1999.

MetroMPG 01-28-2008 08:42 PM

Needless to say, I'm into sailing. I can't count how many times I've thought it would be great, silly fun to mount a sail on the Blackfly and see what happens. :D

elhigh 01-28-2008 10:14 PM

It's all about the angle. You can achieve the highest speeds when the wind is actually coming from right angles to your desired direction of travel. You start out with your sail angled a little bit, acting like a wing sticking straight up. The wind lifts your sail/wing forward. As you gain speed, you trim the sail to keep its angle of attack from becoming neutral to the new "perceived" wind that the sail sees.

I saw this funky car in a 1980's Popular Science. It was on the cover.

WaxyChicken 01-28-2008 11:37 PM

Does this same technology apply to vehicles with no ambient wind?
EG - car moves forward, 'sails' get wind, car moves faster forward. but if the car holds still it sees there is actually no wind when it is not moving.

MetroMPG 01-29-2008 08:14 AM

Short answer: you need "true" (ambient) wind for this to work.

Ryland 01-29-2008 05:36 PM


Originally Posted by NoCO2 (Post 7287)
How on earth do you get your vehicle to do faster then the power that is propelling it? I need to do more research on this, very nice post.

the same way that a sail boat can go faster then the wind, and the same way that the tip of a wind turbine can go faster then the speed of sound (was a problem with some exprimental turbines), it works because insted of working as a drage device (cup getting pulled with the wind) it's working as an air foil, simaler to a kite, sail, propeller or wing, they are all air foils.
the book New Electric Vehicle, has a chaptor on an air foil car that is simaler, it has a horse shoe shaped wing.

MetroMPG 01-29-2008 05:39 PM

Now why would you be reading books about electric cars Ryland? ;)

Whoops 01-29-2008 05:52 PM

This was a neat post. I have to believe that at some point in time their will likely be vehicles which could use the wind speed to enhance their effectiveness. It would certainly be possible for a controller to determine when and what direction of orientation to use, to extend or retract some type of wind device, similar to the fixed symmetry wings which are used here.

Pretty impressive speeds for just wind power.

Ryland 01-31-2008 01:29 AM


Originally Posted by MetroMPG (Post 7419)
Now why would you be reading books about electric cars Ryland? ;)

Because we have a whole shelf of them? ok ok, I'll take the hint, I have a new toy, I'll start a page for it soon.

MetroMPG 02-02-2008 11:56 PM

OK, this post was also eaten in the great Digg server crash. I had posted a link to a not very practical (or stable looking) sail-powered trike.




Landsailing Trike (parking lot)


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