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back to article Greenbird sail-car wafts in as future of zero-emission motoring?

So how's this for emissions-free motoring? Greenbird Greenbird: record breaker Called Greenbird, the hi-tech land yacht is the brainchild of British engineer Richard Jenkins and last week it snapped up the word land-speed record for a wind-powered vehicle at Ivanpah dry lake in Nevada with a top speed of 126.1mph (202.9kph), …

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Anonymous Coward

Call me dense but . . .

. . . can someone explain how it can go faster than the wind that is pushing it?

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Happy

Where..

... are the parking wardens going to put the ticket?

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Go

cor

That's a very pretty bit of kit.

Wonder how much the paint weighs?

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ben
Coat

Emissions free?

Made entirely of carbon fibre composites... polyester resins are well known for their green credentials; their low toxicity and completely non petrochemical basis are particular highlights of their characteristics.

Mine is the one with eco-pedant on the back...

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Stop

Never mind bridges...

...have they tried parking that thing at Sainsbury's? And even if you could find three consecutive spaces you can bet some chav will drive his Nova over your wheel strut!

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Bronze badge
Happy

well im oinly guessing

but its gonna be a bitch to park

and i can just see people tacking up the m25 LOL

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Silver badge

Neat Idea

I think I understand how this works. Has anyone tried using a vertical wing on a boat?

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Bronze badge

A thing of beauty

It may be completely useless as a form of transport, but if we are to take the form follow function rule as defining beauty, then this is just what this is. It is, asthetically speaking, gorgeous.

Well maybe I'm a bit harsh when I say it's useless as a form of transport, possibly ships might use rigid wings as a means of reducing fuel consumption (I think some companies were experimenting with the idea).

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"Only if you live somewhere without bridges."

..... and there's a plentiful supply of constant wind,

and the wind is always blowing from the right direction,

and there are no buildings to block the wind or create turbulence,

and there are 10 meter wide carriageways,

and you don't need power for heating, indicators, lights

and you don't need to carry goods!

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"Only if you live somewhere without bridges."

... and there's a plentiful supply of constant wind,

and the wind is always blowing from the right direction (for all drivers),

and there are no buildings to block the wind or create turbulence,

and there are 10 meter wide carriageways,

and you don't need power for heating, indicators, lights

and you don't need to carry goods!

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Paris Hilton

Cool

This looks well cool, but there only appears to be an out-rigger on the right-hand side of the craft. This would make a fast right turns through the streets of Old London very precarious..

Paris, 'cos her emissions are far from zero (probably)

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Anonymous Coward

CyberSub

"that moves of skates rather than wheels"

It probably moves ON skates, but I know nothing about wind powered journalism.

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explaining

"can someone explain how it can go faster than the wind that is pushing it?"

Google "Greenbird" go to their site and click on "How it works". BTW, there was a post and comments on this wind-powered "faster than the wind" on Good Math, Bad Math a while back (http://scienceblogs.com/goodmath/2008/12/the_real_bozo_attempts_to_aton.php) where MarkCC, to his credit, apologised for calling the guys who demonstrated such a "faster than the wind" device bozos when he himself just didn't understand how it worked. The subsequent comment thread (and the threads in his previous posts on the subject) do a lot of explaining about how this works, including the math if you're into the nitty gritty.

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Bronze badge

re: Call me dense but . . .

If the machine had been "sailing" with the wind directly behind it, then it could, indeed travel no faster than the wind speed. Paradoxically as it might seem, the highest speeds are attained with the wind arriving approximating to 90 degrees from the direction of travel. The aerofoil shape generates "lift" which provides a force that propels the vehicle (or boat) forwards.

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El
Stop

Future of motoring?!?

I believe only being able to move when the wind is coming from your left would seriously limit the number of destinations you could reach with this. And of course, you couldn't make it back home until the wind reversed direction!

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ian
Bronze badge

Isn't that impossible?

Doesn't the theory of relativity explicitly rule out travelling faster than the wind? Eh? Oh, sorry.

Well, then! Perhaps if we went sideways to the light we could exceed "c".

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Boffin

Faster than the wind

It doesn't go directly downwind but at an angle to it. The apparent wind then becomes the vector sum of the craft's motion plus the wind's. This new vector can have a scalar velocity greater than the original wind itself. Since the craft is propelled by the apparent wind, it effectively generates its own wind and sails in that.

If you observe (say) America's Cup racing you'll see that the boats are always sailing about 45 deg to the wind, both upwind and downwind. This is the most efficient angle. To understand it fully, do a google for Polar Curves and Velocity Made Good. Some good stuff at Sailplanner.net.

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