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Navy charters kite-powered cargo ship

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posted on Oct, 11 2008 @ 03:13 PM
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This is something that's new to me.

Anything to cut fuel costs, but somehow this seems a bit too fantastic to be true--almost cartoon-like.





For the first time, the US Navy is using a new breed of sailing ship to deliver military equipment, a move that can potentially reduce fuel costs by 20 to 30 percent, or roughly $1,600 a day per ship, according to the ship's owners.

The Navy's Military Sealift Command (MSC) has chartered the "kite-assisted", fuel-saving 400 foot, MV Beluga to deliver Air Force and Army cargo to from Europe to the US.

The MV Beluga uses a paraglider-shaped, SkySails-System, which supplements its conventional, internal combustion engines. The sail is basically a huge, computer-controlled kite that soars 100 to 300 yards into the air, using the wind to tow the ship at the end of a long tear-proof, synthetic rope.

news.cnet.com...


www.beluga-group.com...

Video

[edit on 2008/10/11 by GradyPhilpott]




posted on Oct, 11 2008 @ 03:37 PM
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Why not just use Sailboats?



posted on Oct, 11 2008 @ 03:43 PM
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This is ingenious. It looks bizzare, but it's actually an incredible idea. $1600 per ship per day adds up FAST. The trucking company that I work for will spend $200,000+ on fuel just for idling trucks. If we could save that much we'd save an incredible amount of money.

As for not using sails as the anonymous question asked, if you read the article, the kite generates MUCH more force per square foot than a regular sail, and you don't have the heel that you get with a sail. If you have a sail, then the mast transmits the force directly to the boat, and it will heel over. By having the kite, you put it onto a lever arm that pivots that transmits the force to the deck. The ship stays level, and the arm moves around.



posted on Oct, 11 2008 @ 03:51 PM
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I saw this, or something similar on a technology site a few months ago where it was hailed as being a bit of a spiffing idea and technological feat.

I couldn't help thinking though that people were using wind power to navigate the world for the last few thousand years and this was nothing more than a funky idea based on old technology and common sense.



posted on Oct, 11 2008 @ 09:26 PM
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Originally posted by Britguy

I couldn't help thinking though that people were using wind power to navigate the world for the last few thousand years and this was nothing more than a funky idea based on old technology and common sense.


Read the article carefully. Using the wind to power ships certainly is not a new idea, but this technology is thoroughly modern. Without computer technology, this method would be impossible.



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