Archive for February, 2011

Faster than the wind

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011


All sailors know that it is impossible to sail faster than the wind when sailing downwind. This picture shows a violation of this well-known rule. How does it work? Power from the wheels, which brakes the car, is used to power the fan. The fan pushes the car ahead. If the wind is from behind, the push from the fan can be greater than the breaking force from the wheels.  Apparently the first person to think of this was a student, not a professor, not a famous sailor, not an engineer.

This car would not work on a sailboat. The drag from the water is too great. However, it should be possible to construct an iceboat which works on the same principle.