LAND ROVER TECHNOLOGIES TAKE TO THE HIGH SEAS IN BID TO DEVELOP THE FASTEST AMERICA'S CUP CLASS BOAT WITH A LAND ROVER BAR
Land Rover is applying its design, technology and innovation expertise to the America's Cup Class boat, a multihull catamaran code-named 'R1'. The boat, weighing over two tonnes, will be capable of speeds in excess of 50knots thanks to a technique known as foiling where the boat lifts clear out of the water to fly on hydrofoils, reducing drag and increasing boat speed and efficiency.
With less than 11 months until the launch, the Land Rover Advanced Engineering team has been working in collaboration with Land Rover BAR's designers and engineers, developing a series of prototype test boats. The results of the development process will be applied to designing the world's fastest America's Cup Class boat.
Tony Harper, Head of Research at Jaguar Land Rover said: "Since the birth of foiling, one of the biggest challenges is understanding how to control these massively powerful machines whilst balancing on a comparatively small surface area. We have delved into our talent base at Jaguar Land Rover to identify the most skilled engineers within the fields of aerodynamics, machine learning and advanced data processing which are an integral part of the workstreams with Land Rover BAR. The ocean is new terrain for us and we plan to apply our findings into the final boat design across the next 11-months and ultimately back into our own research and development units."
The first key area of collaboration and development sees Land Rover focused on the development of the wing, a 78.6ft carbon fibre 'hard' sail the size of a Boeing 737 aeroplane wing. It provides the boat's only source of thrust. By linking computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and finite element analysis (FEA) technology - programs integral to Land Rover product development - the team is able to analyse complex aerodynamics to increase boat speed.
Land Rover is also making their enormous data processing ability and their advanced Machine Learning expertise available to the team, to help optimise the performance of the boat through identifying trends in the sailing data.
Martin Whitmarsh, Land Rover BAR Chief Executive Officer said: "I think people will be surprised at the rate of improvement spanning the four years between each America's Cup.
This is Formula 1 on water and, just like F1, traditional methods of engineering and design don't cut it anymore. The boats are getting quicker, not just in terms of their top speed but also in terms of their acceleration and ability to change direction. We need to not just keep up with, but beat the competition and this is why we need Land Rover to tap into their vast engineering expertise and available testing tools. We are only at the starting line and there is a long way to go but we are making great strides and I can't wait to see the results over the next year."
Under the current America's Cup ruling, the boat cannot hold any stored power so all power generated must come from a combination of the the wing and sailing team, commanding peak levels of fitness during the racing period. Land Rover's expertise in the field of human/machine interface technologies (HMI) will be used to develop displays and controls to ensure optimum use of the available power.
Sir Ben Ainslie, Land Rover BAR Team Principal and Skipper said: "Ultimately this race needs to be won on both land and water. The America's Cup is the pinnacle of sailing.
It requires the finest sailors in the world and the best team, but importantly, every team is searching for marginal gains from design and technology expertise to create the fastest boat. The biggest challenges for us are the aerodynamics, given most of the boat is out of the water, optimising the boat's power supply and understanding the control systems through data analysis. The competition is intense and races have regularly been won by a matter of seconds and that's why having Land Rover involved in this project will help give us an advantage."
The Land Rover BAR team head to the Oman leg of Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series in third position on February 26-28. To hear more from the Land Rover BAR team around the collaboration please visit http://www.digitalnewsagency.com/stories/9617