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Blackbird (land yacht)

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Blackbird (land yacht)

Land yacht Blackbird
Note that the streamers on the yacht and on the ground point in opposite directions
Land yacht Blackbird
More recent version, with fairing to improve performance

The Blackbird is an experimental land yacht, built to demonstrate that it is possible to sail directly downwind faster than the wind.

In 2006, following a viral internet debate started as a brain teaser,[n 1][1] a propeller-driven land yacht was built and filmed, showing it was possible to sail 'dead' downwind faster than the wind by the power of the available wind only.[2]

In 2009, a MIT professor had worked out the equations for such a device[3] and concluded that one could be built in practice "without too much difficulty".[4] Other researchers arrived at similar conclusions.[5]

In the same year, after being challenged that the video was a hoax, team members Rick Cavallaro and John Borton of Sportvision, sponsored by Google and in association with the San Jose State University aeronautics department, built a test vehicle nicknamed Blackbird. A year later, in 2010 Cavallaro successfully tested the vehicle, achieving more than 2 times the speed of wind,[6] definitively demonstrating that it is possible to build a vehicle which can achieve the claim.[7][8][9][10]

A second test with an improved vehicle in 2011 reached close to 3 times the speed of wind.[11]

After proposing the vehicle's design, and presenting the analysis to demonstrate its viability, the Blackbird team learned that others had previously conceived of and built similar designs - most notably Andrew Bauer of Douglas Aircraft built and demonstrated such a vehicle in 1969, based on an analysis presented in a student's paper from some 20 years earlier.[12] [13]

Bauer observed "a rearward deflection of a foot-long tuft located about 12 feet forward of the propeller plane" thus conclusively demonstrating that his vehicle went faster than the wind (that is, Bauer observed that a streamer located well forward of the propeller was deflected backwards by the apparent wind, meaning that the vehicle was going faster than the real wind). There are no known independent verification to Bauer's claims, although there are several sources of engineering and scientific articles, explaining the theory and possible physics of such a device.[3] [4] [14] [15][16] [17]

Explanation

Conventional sail-driven boats, not going directly downwind, can achieve speeds - reaching the destination downwind, at a greater speed than the wind on line to the destination, in what is called velocity made good[n 2][n 3] but cannot move faster than the wind while sailing in the same direction as the blowing wind ("dead downwind").

By using a propeller instead of a conventional sail, and coupling the propeller to its wheels, a land yacht can proceed dead downwind faster than the wind.[18][19][20][21]

Achievements

On 7 and 8 March 2010, the team reported testing their vehicle on a motor-driven moving belt (treadmill), showing that it would advance against the belt, which means that it can progress dead downwind faster than the wind.[8]

On 24 March 2010, the team ran the vehicle on the Ivanpah dry lake bed south of Las Vegas, Nevada, showing that it could accelerate dead downwind from a standstill and reach velocities well in excess of wind speed.[7][22][23][24][25] That is, the vehicle was progressing dead downwind faster than the wind. Officials of the North American Land Sailing Association (NALSA) were in attendance and one NALSA Board of Directors member (Bob Dill) was there for every run and collected his own rough wind and GPS data. This was not a NALSA sanctioned event but was presented as a demonstration to the NALSA Board of Directors that the vehicle was capable of progressing dead downwind faster than the wind. Subsequently, the team worked out the details with NALSA for rules and instrumentation related to an upcoming official NALSA ratified test and record.

On July 2, 2010, Blackbird set the world's first certified record for going directly downwind, faster than the wind, using only power from the available wind during its run. The yacht achieved a dead downwind speed of about 2.8 times the speed of the wind.[26][27][28]

On June 16, 2012, Blackbird set the world's first certified record for going directly upwind, without tacking, using only power from the wind. The yacht achieved a dead upwind speed of about 2.1 times the speed of the wind.[26]

See also

External links

  • North American Land Sailing Association
  • Video of Blackbird on YouTube
  • Downwind Noir (article by Kimball Livingstone)

Notes

  1. ^ Rick Cavallaro (August 27, 2010). "A Long, Strange, Trip Downwind Faster Than the Wind". Wired. Retrieved 2010-09-14. 
  2. ^ "Official measurement report for 2009 North American Land Sailing Association record".  - Greenbird record speed, 3 times that of the wind at 120 degrees, or 1.5 times the speed of the wind - downwind.
  3. ^ "Training in Racing Mode". Consorcio Valencia. February 4, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-25.  During the  

References

  1. ^ boat design lengthy discussion, linking to many other discussions on this topic.
  2. ^ Goodman, Jack (January 2006). "Down wind faster than the wind". Catalyst (Journal of the Amateur Yacht Research Society). Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  3. ^ a b Drela, Mark. "DDFTTW Power Analysis". Retrieved June 15, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Drela, Mark. "Dead-Downwind Faster Than The Wind (DFTTW) Analysis". Retrieved June 15, 2010. 
  5. ^ Gaunaa, Mac; Øye, Stig; Mikkelsen, Robert. "Theory and Design of Flow Driven Vehicles Using Rotors for Energy Conversion". , A lecture about upwind-carts & DDWFTTW-carts at the Technical University of Denmark
  6. ^ Rick Cavallaro (August 27, 2010). "A Long, Strange, Trip Downwind Faster Than the Wind". Wired. Retrieved 2010-09-14.  - Explanation of the Blackbird workings and its physics.
  7. ^ a b Cort, Adam (April 5, 2010). "Running Faster than the Wind". sailmagazine.com. Retrieved January 9, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "Ride Like the Wind (only faster)". Retrieved April 6, 2010. 
  9. ^ Boyle, Rebecca (June 2, 2010). "Wind Powered Actually Moves Faster Than Wind Speed, Answering Tricky Physics Question". popsci.com. Retrieved July 1, 2010. 
  10. ^ Barry, Keith (June 2, 2010). "Wind Powered Car Travels Downwind Faster Than The Wind". wired.com. Retrieved July 1, 2010. 
  11. ^ Adam Fischer (February 28, 2011). "One Man’s Quest to Outrace Wind". Wired. Retrieved 2012-07-03. 
  12. ^ Bauer, Andrew (1969). "Faster Than The Wind". Marina del Rey, California: First AIAA. Symposium on Sailing. , Picture of Bauer with his cart
  13. ^ "Sad News in the World of DDFTTW". Faster Than The Wind Team. September 14, 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-14. .
  14. ^ Ruina, Andy (1978). "The push-me pull-you boat is better still". Retrieved 2012-04-21. 
  15. ^ Gaunaa, Mac; Øye, Stig; Mikkelsen, Robert (2009). "Theory and Design of Flow Driven Vehicles Using Rotors for Energy Conversion". Marseille, France: Proceedings EWEC 2009. 
  16. ^ "A lecture about upwind-carts & DDWFTTW-carts at the Technical University of Denmark". Youtube. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  17. ^ A similar device was built and tested in 2006, see Goodman, Jack (January 2006). "Down wind faster than the wind". Catalyst (Journal of the Amateur Yacht Research Society). Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  18. ^ "March Chu-Carroll is wrong, take two". Word Munger. December 4, 2008. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  19. ^ Mark C. Chu-Carroll (December 3, 2008). "Wind-powered Perpetual Motion". Scienceblogs (Good Math, Bad Math). Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  20. ^ "Counter-intuitive Science". Learning Computation. December 5, 2008. Retrieved 2010-08-25. 
  21. ^ And a propeller in the air coupled to a propeller in the water can be used to sail upwind directly into the wind, see "Windmill Sailboat: Sailing Against the Wind". TreeHugger. Retrieved 2010-06-30. .
  22. ^ Boyle, Rebecca (June 2, 2010). "Wind Powered Actually Moves Faster Than Wind Speed, Answering Tricky Physics Question". popsci.com. Retrieved July 1, 2010. 
  23. ^ Wolff, Eric (June 10, 2010). "Impossible-Seeming Wind Vehicles Might One Day Produce Abundant Energy". Discover Magazine. Retrieved August 6, 2010. 
  24. ^ Barry, Keith (July 8, 2010). "Team Goes Downwind 2.5 Times Faster Than the Wind". Wired Magazine. Retrieved August 6, 2010. 
  25. ^ Wojdyla, Ben (July 6, 2010). "Wind-Powered Car Proves Internet Naysayers Wrong". Jalopnik. Retrieved August 6, 2010. 
  26. ^ a b "Direct Upwind and Downwind Record Attempts". NALSA. August 2, 2010. Retrieved August 6, 2010. 
  27. ^ Livingstone, Kimball (August 1, 2010). "A NALSA Record: DDWFTTW". Blue Planet Times. Retrieved August 6, 2010. 
  28. ^ Livingstone, Kimball (August 2, 2010). "Downwind Noir: The Record". Blue Planet Times. Retrieved August 6, 2010. 
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