Monday, November 09, 2009

BMW Oracle reveals enormous wing sail

[Source: BMW Oracle] The latest development by the BMW ORACLE Racing team was unveiled today when an enormous wing was prepared to be wheeled out of the tent at the team base in San Diego.

The wing will be tested as an option to increase performance compared with a traditional soft sail rig as previously sea-trialed on the BOR 90, the 90-foot trimaran the team has built for the 33rd America’s Cup.

BMW Oracle reveals enormous wing sail. San Diego, 8 November 2009. Photo copyright Gilles Martin-Raget / BMW Oracle

The construction of the wing took place at Core Builders, the team’s boatbuilding facility in Anacortes, Washington, with finishing work completed at the team base in San Diego.

“This was a massive undertaking,” said Tim Smyth (NZL), who, along with Mark Turner (NZL), has been overseeing the wing construction team in Anacortes and in San Diego.

“Building a wing of this size was something new for all of us, and we’re proud our guys were able to rise to the challenge.”

BMW Oracle reveals enormous wing sail. San Diego, 8 November 2009. Photo copyright Gilles Martin-Raget / BMW Oracle

A wing of this scale has never been built for a race boat. In terms of size, the wing on BOR 90 dwarfs those on modern aircraft. Towering nearly 190 ft (57 m) above the deck, it is 80 percent bigger than a wing on a 747 airplane (102 ft / 31 m).

The primary advantage of the wing over a soft sail is that it is easier to control and does not distort. This makes it easier for the trimmers on board to maintain an optimum aerofoil shape in a wide range of conditions.

Full-scale, on-the-water testing of the wing will begin later this week as the team resumes sea trials in preparation for the 33rd America’s Cup Match in February.

BMW Oracle reveals enormous wing sail. San Diego, 8 November 2009. Photo copyright Gilles Martin-Raget / BMW Oracle

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13 Comments:

At 9:03 AM, Blogger Ramon said...

I can see desaster coming for BOR with this high-tech thing... Poor Jimmy!

 
At 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are they sure they will be competitive with this wing until february?????
I think it takes to much development time and testing before getting ready for a race.
i´d like to see it sailing. But not sure it will last very long.
If this thing will blow up, it will be much more dangerous than the desaster which happended last week.

 
At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is funny, first BMWOrcale is critisized for having a too conservative approach then they come up with something really novel and it is too risky. I think what BMW Oracle is doing here is "covering their bases" because no one knows right now where and when the race will take place. Looking at the last couple of years it may very well be possible that they will have plenty of time to develop the platform. Besides, the wingsail at present is considered to be on of several optional rigg configurations for the boat. BMW Oracle may decide not to use it.
But for sure the wing is looking cool and exciting to me.

 
At 10:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BMW Oracle better puts some jet engines on this.
Alighi will still win.
ALinhi Alinghi Alinghi

 
At 11:57 AM, Blogger Doug said...

Anon,

(aside, I am really tired of nobody naming themselves) Remember that the Le Black was the perfect small platform to train on for the A5? That, by rights, the racing and training the sailors of the BOR team have done on winged cats should be just perfect. And please, I dare somebody to respond that a 40 footer is such a better starting point than a 20 footer. Please.

 
At 12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ETNZ pushed it to far with technology...we all remeber the hula, the water in the boat and brocken mast.....guys keep going like this and Alingi will send you home...slowly slowly I start to think that RAK isn't such a bad idea at all, at least there you can use your new wing.

 
At 12:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet it's a fake

 
At 12:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No wonder they took so long to unviel it, because it won't last long

 
At 2:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear E.B. is furious because he hasn't got such a cool toy...

 
At 4:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's always the same with new technology and new ideas. If it fails everybody knew beforehand that it was never going to work. If it works however, it makes you look really smart.

 
At 7:18 PM, Anonymous GDEvans said...

Wow pretty cool. Let's hope they manage to keep this one vertical!

 
At 2:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.fox5sandiego.com/videobeta/watch/?watch=f1eef01e-e8fd-4c09-bab4-87978f7cf7a4&src=front

 
At 4:55 PM, Blogger Liz24 said...

In my oppinion the 'wing' is horrendous. The talented traditional sailmakers on the BMW Oracle team must be horrified. My imagination runs riot; watching the sailing in February, Oracle with her 'wing', Alinghi with her beautifully constructed traditional sail. Be afraid Oracle, be very afraid.

 

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