Monofoil Sailing
Monofoil Sailing
04/05/2006: April Update
We have made steady progress with the wing and will shortly be able to release photographs of the finished article as well as some film footage showing the structural layout.
We also recently received an email that we felt raised a very valid technical point. As a result we have included it below as well as Jon's response. Where possible we do respond to email's although we are not in the business of explaining basic first principles!
EMAIL FROM PM

I have been following your project for some time with interest. It certainly makes the point about it's size when it is compared with the London Bus. I do however, have some doubts about the wisdom of embarking on such a large prototype without doing development work on smaller models and gradually working your way up to the present size.
Yes, I know you made a model, (I saw it), it was tiny compared with your projected machine. Your confidence is amazing, and I hope it won't be misplaced, but I fear you may find with your big machine many unexpected problems that should have been ironed out at a previous less ambitious development stage.
You have only to look at the debacle of Team Philips as an example of how over-ambitious projects can end up. Think of the Wright brothers, with the development of flying, Igor Sikorsky and Arthur Young, with the development of the helicopter or even Whittle with the development of the jet engine. These people just didn't have an idea and go out and build a plane, a helicopter or a jet, what they achieved was the result of years of development, which slowly came good until they achieved success.
I'm afraid that with your over-reliance on cfd and imagining you know all the answers you could end up getting nowhere.
RESPONSE BY JON HOWES

Thank you for your Email. Interestingly we agree with almost all your points.
If you saw one of my models this would have been mk1 or mk2 as shown at Weymouth in 1997 (development started in 1996). Mk1 was indeed tiny to the point where testing was extremely difficult due to the water surface wind gradient. The models grew steadily from that point onwards.
I finally developed a family of six models of varying sizes, all of which were designed and analysed via the same mathematical model which was further developed and tuned in the light of test results. The math model was not CFD in the currently understood sense, rather it uses well known aeronautical methods such as Weissenger for wing load distributions, very basic vortex lattice for drag and tail downwash calcs and the usual force/moment balances for equilibrium, stability and control.
The full sized design only went ahead when I reached a level of confidence in the validated design methods that allowed me to get the last model sailing with minimum "sorting" - note all the models tried new techniques or modifications as these help to define the actual limits of the theoretical model and where it differs from reality.
There will undoubtedly be some unpredicted problems in full scale, the greatest single concern being the control forces at full speed. Modeling shows these to be manageable in magnitude but as the sign of the control forces can be changed by poor trimming this has inevitable issues for human control.
The only bit of fully conventional CFD used in development was a bit of software that I developed to design the ventilated foil section. This was a challenge as the problem was very difficult to stabilise numerically (very sensitive to grid definition). The result was used on the last model with absolute success and verified with a simpler vortex panel method so I am now fairly confident of this aspect.
News Archive
31/01/2007: Yachting World features Monofoil
17/11/2006: SailTV Feature Monofoil
13/11/2006: IBI News - Monofoil to rewrite rules of high-speed sailing
02/11/2006: Sailing Takes Flight
15/09/2006: New Website Unveiled
01/09/2006: Monofoil Sailing invited to World Speed Sailing Challenge
02/08/2006: Ron Dennis joins Monofoil Sailing team
22/07/2006: Monofoil Sailing chooses SolidWorks design software
01/07/2006: June/July Update
04/05/2006: April Update
07/03/2006: March Update
07/03/2006: New Arrivals
05/01/2006: Kite World Speed Record Smashed
24/12/2005: Happy Christmas from the Monofoil Sailing team
18/12/2005: More Wing Photos
13/12/2005: Macquarie Speed Sailing Team Wing Failure
12/11/2005: Wing Spar Pictures
22/10/2005: Wing Spar Construction
06/09/2005: Cutting the Spruce for the Wing Spar
05/09/2005: Popular Science Article on "The Race to 50 Knots"
03/09/2005: Wing Construction Started
01/07/2005: Paws and Whiskers Moulds Completed
15/11/2004: Yellow Pages World Record Falls!
22/10/2004: Macquarie Innovation are back in the Race!
30/09/2004: The Monofoil Sailing team goes to Weymouth Speedweek
28/09/2004: High Modulus Sponsor Monofoil
13/06/2004: Additional Cross Boom Mould Photo
13/06/2004: Cross Boom Moulds Completed
06/04/2004: New Monofoil Fuselage
02/03/2004: Monofoil Main Fuselage Moulds Completed

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