How does this French invention could make sailboats simpler? Because it does not deform in the wind the way a normal sail does, it offers an huge aerodynamic advantage, and leaves the captain with only navigation to focus on. It has a telescoping mast that deploys along with the sail.
Inflated Wing Sails (IWS)
IWS is stable in every wind conditions. There is no pressure on the boat‘s structure. This inflatable wing sail offers a smooth balanced new way of sailing. No more winches, halyards, shrouds or complex deck equipments.
A concept based on paragliders
IWS is made of:
- A double skin forming a symetrical airfoil
- Fans placed inside the leading edge, stabilizing the sail’s shape for every wind conditions
- Free-standing and retractable mast located at the airfoil’s aerodynamic center
The advantages of the inflatable wing sail
- The sail flies vertically
- The NACA airfoil has been studied to develop a high driving force for a low righting moment
- Using a symetric airfoil allows to tack from one side to another without having to trim the sail shape
- The symetric airfoil is balanced and place itself in the best position to maximise the driving force
- The aerodynamic center stays stable in every wind condition
- This kind of sail could easily be driven by an automatic system
This example is just a prototype; the goal is to scale the design to be used on much larger ships. But what do you think about it?