Mechanical engineers will play a more crucial role than naval architects in the development of a British catamaran that will compete for the America’s Cup in 2017.
This is because the catamarans are at the very edge of engineering design & technology in the combined arena of aerodynamics and hydrodynamics. Naval architects on the other hand are experts in traditional design methods & ideas that are safe and proven within hydrodynamics, and have understandably become a little sniffy about the transition.
Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) team will compete in an AC62 catamaran powered by highly efficient wingsails and designed to fly above the water on foils at speeds approaching 50mph. Since the rules prohibit sailing of the boats until 150 days before the competition, most of the important design decisions will be based on data from Computational Fluid Dynamics simulations (CFD), supplied by Siemens and CD-adapco but some advanced technology prototypes will be tested on smaller AC45 boats. Siemens Product Lifecycle Management(PLM) software will also be utilised to take design of products to the very limit.
The BAR team will design, manufacture and test the catamaran in virtual environments. The design will be captured as a 3D CAD model – a living embodiment of the design that will be raced – created from a large bank of data in a virtual design environment.
Exciting days ahead – I wish Ben and the team all the best for 2017
“Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small jobs”
Henry Ford – American industrialist, Founder of Ford Motor Co. – 1863 – 1947
“Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world ! ”
Joel Arthur Barker
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