Most striking are two wings with symmetrical profiles, the stabilizers, on the side of the hull which is very slim and aerodynamic. The stabilizers are arranged in a V- shape at a 33° angle to the hull, with a 250 L water tank at the tip of each for water- ballast. Those tanks can be filled within a few seconds through a system known from firefighter planes. During maneuvers the water is routed from the leeward to the windward side through a pipe system.
Another feature to increase control over the vessel at high speeds is the Canard Wing on the bow, like on a fighter jet. Through this wing, the pilot can control the longitudinal axis of the vessel. In that way, the forces typically resulting in a nose- dive, are controlled and can be counteracted.
In order to reduce drag, the V_REX is equipped with hydrofoils, lifting it off the water surface. The centerboard- hydrofoil is 3.8 m high, whereas the stern- hydrofoil, which is also the rudder, is 4.0 m high. The height difference is important for the rudder not to be situated in the turbulence of the centerboard. The hydrofoils are designed so that the V_REX has a safe “flight above waves”.
In fact, the design of the hydrofoils is inspired by one of the fastest fish, the Indo- Pacific Sailfish, which reaches up to 120 kph!
The boat is helmed by two persons in a monocoque at the center of the stabilizers, known from airplanes and Formula1 cars. The helm moves the rudder by using two pedals, one to starboard, one to port. The crew is seated behind the pilot adjusting the 40 sqm sails, a battened mainsail and a jib, as well as the system for the water- ballast.
It was a big mile stone for us to test V_REX prototype first time on the water.
This test was only focused on the take-off-speed and if V_REX high-speed-foils will create enough lift even in low speed situations.
Without the lift of the sails (V_REX is heeling into windward) and without ailerons (fixed in position) we reached our target more than we expected.
BIG SUCCESS and also big thanks to the uncounted thoughts and scientifically calculation of all people involved in the aero- and hydrodynamics of V_REX.
Also Peter Steinkogler, designer and head of V_REX-project, was more than happy to fly first time on the very impressive prototype. "I am really proud that after all structural engineering, naval development and CFD-calculation my initial model is just 3 % away from the prototype we are testing right now.
Anthropologists stated that people were able to walk upright for the first time around 1.6 million years ago. They call these very first humans HOMO ERECTUS. It was the break through of the human race.
V_REX combines the letter "V" (Velocity) with the latin word "REX" which means "King". But it is not only about this very nice association to the T-REX which is common know as the Tyrannosaurus Rex (King of the Dinosaur) it is also that the very first sailing vessel which will raise up to 3.5 meters above the sea level and stabilize itself aero- and hydrodynamical wise. So the V_REX will be also the very first sailing vessel sailing over the waves - SAILING ERECTUS!
As assembling moves on for our first prototype. We are working hard on the actuatoric of our hydraulic system. For that we have to overcome much more stability issues as a regular sailing vessel and even as a regular aeroplane.
It is more a mixture made out of aero- and hydrodynamical issues, load case studies and fortex / resistance calculation in order to control the pitch- and roll-momentum of V_REX. Never before a "flying-sailing-vessel existed like this.
This is one of the steps we are going right now to proof our final vision, that sailing technology can enable us to transport our goods silent and emission free with high speed across our oceans! Stay tuned.
Adjusting the Stab-Wings is a critical step on the V_REX prototyping.
The symmetrical Wings will support the rolling momentum of the full carbon fiber racer most efficiently. But not only the aerodynamical stabilization is a point, which creates additional sail pressure. It is also a 200 liter plus water-ballast tank which creates up righting momentum on a leveler of 5 m.
Yesterday was a big day for the V_REX Team:
First time we put the deck on our hull superstructure.
There is a special term for boat builders calling this "The Marriage".
But there will be also another big day für V_REX once he get his wings.
So far, there is no special term because V_REX will be the very first sailing vessel with aerodynamical stabilization wings.
The complexity to build a V_REX will combine the knowledge of aero- und hydrodynamics. Specially the aerodynamics is a big part you instantly recognize if you look at the boat design.
So, it is more to build an aeroplane with some hydrodynamic parts.
But also considering load cases once V_REX has a "touch down" whilst sailing with high speed. Avoiding structural designs which becomes too heavy and concentrating on the aerodynamic
The more we are into the building process the more we understand what is the V_REX capable. One thing is definitive right now:
V_REX will be the very first sailing vessel of a new generation how to sail.
In total 10 lightweight Hydraulic-Cylinders will provide all the needed forces to control the V_REX.
Ailerons, Angle of Attack for the Hydro-Foils, V-Angle-Adjustment, rigg tension, .... are controlled from a single joystick. This provides a redundant helming unite which is much more demanding than an aeroplan helming system.
Also the stabilization wings are out of the moulds and we already started to assembling spars, water ballast pipes and working on the connection for the water ballast tanks, too.
Finally hull bulkheads are in and were placed with high tech laser equipment.
STAY TUNED AND GODSPEED!
After finishing outer skin now we are into making the core and inner skin. Absolute high tech and light weight.
Also hydraulic cylinders are ready developed and started manufacturing.
SENSORIC & HELMINGTOOLS
Already selected some hardware parts and thinking of Backhoff-System which is used by Emirates Team NZ.
STILL LOT TO DO - BUT ALSO VERY MUCH EXITING!
In the category of CREATIV-INNOVATION V_REX is already voted in the 2nd level of the so called "EDISON-PREIS!".
This trophy will be granted only to the innovative and creative start-ups in Austria.
After starting the this years Edison-Preis only 22 companies reached the 2nd step. Splited in 3 categories V_REX do have pretty good chances to reach a trophy of this very well known challenge.
Meanwhile negative moulding is in progress and now we are absolute confident, that the initial tests of V_REX can be done within 2020.
All the very best and GODSPEED!
Hull design finished!
The hull design is finished today and ready for CNC moulding.
We are close to our next mile stone once the first time a CNC milling machine will start working on the V_REX.
V_REX will be made out of full carbon fibre and in the best quality available in the international market.
V_REX an outstanding concept becomes reality!
Of course initially you have an idea, how sailing could be more efficient, faster, easier to handle and safer. A sailing boat, which turns the sailing concept up side down. Doing scientifically tests, showing the soft proof of the concept. Not enough and still a long way to the first prototype:
- Naval engineering
- Structural engineering and
- System engineering AND
- do not forget the financial issue! :-)
... which makes than out of an idea and some sketches a real working design.
Now, we are close to realize the prototype and soon the first CNC will start working on our idea.
On the left hand side you see the development only of our bow which should have different purposes.
a) extend the waterline in order to be faster in displacement mode
b) be sharp and aerodynamical, once V_REX is airborne and therefore not to cause turbulences.
c) in case of a so called "Nose-Dive" develop some uplift through out of its upper shape.
d) the retractable bow will also work as an collision bulkhead.
e) throughout the retractable design, it will generate access to the Canard-Wing actuators for maintenance.
f) and of course there is a fitting where you can simply fix your bow line.
This is just one example of one of our very simply pieces on the V_REX.