iDroptere Target 80 Knot Speed Sailing Record
iDroptere is a planing sailboat with the objective to increase the outright sailing speed record to on average 80 knots (150 kilometres / hour) over 500 metres. The aim is to achieve this with 20 knots of wind which means sailing at 4 times the wind speed!
Alain Thébault, Anders Bringdal and their team of engineers from the aircraft industry - led by Philippe Perrier (Dassault Aviation) and Maurice Prat (Airbus) launched the iDroptere project in 2014.
Dassault Systèmes has achieved, with the help of engineers from the design office Mauric, the first phase of designing for the future iDroptere. A scientific study is focused on the definition of supercavitating foil profiles that can exceed 150 km/h in the water. The objective of iDroptere is to sail at four times the wind speed (fineness coefficient of 4) which is a previously unattained sailing efficiency.
In the 1990s Alain Thébault’s team designed and built the first large flying boat. l’Hydroptère was the double world record holder for speed sailing in 2009 at over 50 knots of average speed (95 km/h). In 2010, as part of a partnership in Switzerland, they designed a smaller model, l’Hydroptere.ch, now holder of three speed records on Lake Geneva. In 2012, the Hydroptere team was the scientific advisor for one of the challengers for the America's Cup on the issues of stability in flight for AC 72 boats.
The construction of the prototype will be supported by Monaco Marine. From this summer, Monaco Marine will host iDroptere on their site in the Gulf of Saint-Tropez. Here the team of Alain Thébault will have the ideal technical and logistical tools for the fine-tuning and assembly of the boat.
Alain Thébault said, ‘This is great news! Now that the preliminary calculation phase is completed, we can begin to build this new sail craft. We are looking forward to attend the launch of the iDroptere in the Mediterranean. Our first objectives will take place on Lake Geneva, between Lausanne and Geneva for the Syz & Co Sailing Speed Records and then between Hyères and La Ciotat to “climb the wall” of 80 knots under sail!’
Photos copyright of CHRISTOPHE LAUNAY
After the signature of a technological partnership with Dassault Systèmes at the beginning of this year Monaco Marine shipyard joined the iDroptere adventure. Founded in 1995 by Michel Ducros, Monaco Marine is a network of 6 sites of services for units from 10 to 100 meters and more. The 6 shipyards are based at La Ciotat, in the Gulf of St Tropez, at Antibes, St Laurent du Var, Beaulieu-sur-Mer and Monaco.
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