The vessel’s design, which is supposed to revolutionize naval architecture, is based on a principle every child knows: wings enable flight. In fact, there are no wings on the 10.5-meter prototype, which was built at Hervé in La Rochelle, but the shape of its superstructure is comparable. Thanks to aerodynamic support and the wing in ground-effect, the faster the vessel goes, the less the hull touches the water. Draft is reduced, fuel is saved. As opposed to conventional, engine-driven vessels, head wind therewith turns from foe to friend. The catamaran-like stepped planing hulls, each equipped with a 200 hp outboard engine, further support the concept.
The potential application of an Advanced Aerodynamic Vessel is manifold: workboat, taxi boat or in the offshore oil industry, for example. The prototype, which touched water during sea trials in May, was developed with an experimental approach and has undergone numerous hours of computer simulations over the last two years. In the end, reaching 40 to 60 knots (70 to 110 km/h!) will be feasible with this hyper-efficient, floating invention. We’ll be curious to see how the story continues.
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