Flying Sailboat Soars 2' Above the Waves

flying boat sailing catamaran hydrofoil

“It’s like removing the handbrake – suddenly everything gets smoother and faster in pure silence.” Those are the words of the creator of the hydrofoil catamaran you see here, which uses a combination of advanced, lightweight materials and clever aerodynamic thinking to float 2′ above the waves at speeds that other sailboats simply can’t match.

The flying sailboat is called the Flying Phantom, and it pulls off the same sort of drag-cheating wizardry as the 2013 America’s Cup field by rising up on its two J-shaped wings at speed until both hulls are a good two feet out of the water.

The catamaran becomes a flying sailboat in wind speeds above 7 knots, when sailing downwind or perpendicular to the breeze. Getting above the waves headed upwind requires wind speed to be above 10 knots. In terms of the Flying Phantom’s raw speed, the craft has been clocked at 33 knots already, but Felix believes that limit can still be pushed: “The next limit is the cavitation issues you get around 45-50 knots.”

A fast, silent sailboat that can keep up with some powerboats while using not a drop of oil to push it along in high style? Sounds like gloriously green tranport to me. What do you think?


Source | More Photos: Gizmag.

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.