Thursday, September 07, 2006

Science Thursday!

Why not? Naming a post "Science Thursday!" makes it sound like I do a "Science Thursday!" post every week. Hey, look at me (puts on glasses)! I'm an intellectual!

This week's Science Thursday! is a doozy. Do not, Pissy the Science Boy (might as well make up a catchy name for myself) repeats, DO NOT fail to check out the Flyak.

Another vid.

Und yet anozzer.

Except for the videos the site is empty, but here's an article on the Flyak from July's Popular Mechanics. Fun quote:
A K4 (four-man) kayak paddled by the Norwegian national team took on Olympic athlete Andreas Gjersøe in a Flyak – and the result was an eye-opener. Although the K4 was leading at the halfway point, the Flyak soon began to edge ahead, and was more than a boat length in front of the K4 at the finish line.

To put this performance into perspective, a K1 sprint specialist in a conventional kayak would expect to be some five seconds slower than a four-man boat over 200 metres. As Rasmussen puts it: “The Flyak is all about speed.” He cites two significant figures: a current top speed of 27.2 km/h and a best time over 500 m of 1 minute, 28 seconds.
That's what, 18 miles an hour? And, as "Chief Designer" Einar Rasmussen points out,
"The total weight of the kayaker and hull, together with the desired speed, dictate the area of the foil pair. If you want to go 5 per cent faster, simply make the foils 10 per cent shorter. There is no reason why a pair of foils with a lift/drag coefficient of 25 or more cannot be made. In the future, we may see times of under one minute over the men’s F1 500 m distance.”
Just under a third of a mile in less than a minute, he said confidently though he flunked "Business Math" (aka "Making Change") in high school.

Update: There seems to be a glut of Chief Designers in the hydrofoil game.

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