Soulskill from the gone-with-the-wind dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Richard Jenkins reached 126.1mph in his Greenbird car on the dry plains of Ivanpah Lake in Nevada, setting a new world land speed record for a wind-powered vehicle. 'It's great; it's one of those things that you spend so long trying to do and when it actually happens, it's almost too easy,' says Jenkins. The Greenbird is a carbon fiber composite vehicle that uses wind (and nothing else) for power. The designers describe it as a 'very high performance sailboat,' but one that uses a solid wing, rather than a sail, to generate movement. Due to the shape of the craft, especially at such high speeds, the wings also provide lift; a useful trait for an aircraft, but very hazardous for a car. To compensate for this, the designers have added small wings to 'stick' the car to the ground, in the same way Formula 1 cars do. 'Greenbird weighs 600kg when it's standing still,' says Jenkins. 'But at speed, the effect of the wings make her weigh just over a ton.' Jenkins has also built a wind-powered craft that travels on ice, rather than land. 'Now that we've broken the record, I'm going back on to the ice craft. There's still some debate as to whether traveling on ice or land will be faster.'"
Recent research has tended to show that the Abominable No-Man
is being replaced by the Prohibitive Procrastinator.
-- C.N. Parkinson