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Wind-Powered Car
  [vote for,

Yes, this is partly baked in landsailing. However, this has some important differences:

1. It uses wings instead of sails (see TriLark link) for better efficiency, and so it can sail closer to and almost as fast as the wind. The wings are self-tending, as with the TriLark.

2. This is intended as an as-close-to-an-everyday-car-as-you-can-get car.

3. Being a practically-regular car, it goes where other cars go, not just in the middle of the desert.

4. It has a small, green (as in non-polluting) backup power supply for use when there isn't sufficient wind to go much of anywhere.

5. Its wing-sail system can probably be retro-fitted to other cars reasonably.

galukalock, Mar 07 2003

TriLark Sailboat
Their site isn't working, so here's a Google cache. [galukalock, Oct 17 2004]

(??) Alternative TriLark Sailboat Site http://www.crownfield.com/trilark/
If the above Google link doesn't work for you, try this one from the TriLark's inventor. [jurist, Oct 17 2004]

Here's your Sail Car http://www.windjet.co.uk/land/vehicle.php
120 MPH fast enough for ya? [roby, Oct 17 2004]

Motorsailing http://www.48north....01/sail_freeway.htm
Short story about a fella sailing his Volkswagon [footzilla, Nov 06 2005]

Bicycle version http://gristmill.gr...007/8/1/83548/56685
[Worldgineer, Aug 01 2007]


       Getting a driver's license just got a whole lot harder.
"Coming about!" >SMACK!<
snarfyguy, Mar 07 2003

       <anno type="off-topic">You're not kidding. Where I live, driving tests are a 5-minute joke.</anno>
galukalock, Mar 07 2003

       gl: link broken anyway.
DrCurry, Mar 07 2003

       We've done wind-powered cars before. While land yachts are a lot of fun (I've always wanted a land schooner, after Michael Moorcock), you need an awful lot of room to maneuver the things, which makes them pretty impractical anywhere other than the middle of the desert (or a frozen lake).   

       Might be fine on the stretch, but what happens in gusting conditions or on tight curves?
DrCurry, Mar 07 2003

       Roads will have to reconfigured so as not to have tight curves, I imagine.
snarfyguy, Mar 07 2003

       [DC], scroll down to the bottom. The image link is broken, but the text is there.   

       I can see a problem in gusts, but those don't happen often in most places. There'll have to be a ballast for stability.   

       As for tight curves, how fast do you really want to take them in *any* car? You obviously slow down. No difference here. Since this is an 'almost normal' car, it has brakes too. Also, the 'sails' weigh less than 40 pounds, so they won't tip you over by themselves.
galukalock, Mar 07 2003

       Nepotism at the Halfbakery?!

       (later) Jesus! What if *my* mom is here? She could be masqerading as any of you! (furiously deleting incriminating annos)
snarfyguy, Mar 07 2003

       bm: by your second marriage?
DrCurry, Mar 07 2003

       Thanks anyway, blissmiss, but I know you're not my mom. She doesn't know how to use a computer.
galukalock, Mar 07 2003

       How much clearance does this thing need? I'm trying to picture the (dead) link, but I imagine this thing taking out telephone wires...
Cedar Park, Mar 08 2003

       Obviously, it needs quite a bit of clearance. How much, I don't know. To be useful, I think the 'sails' will have to be at least 10 ft. (3 m).
galukalock, Mar 08 2003

       [snarfy]'s name is associated with a real life male relative not his father. now deny that you are my son!
po, Mar 08 2003

       <Darth Vader> "Luuuuuke" ... "You *know* it to be true"</Darth Vader>
Jinbish, Mar 14 2003

       [New link provided to illustrate Galuckalock's premise.]
jurist, Mar 14 2003

       Hi Mom!
snarfyguy, Mar 14 2003

       Thank you jurist!
galukalock, Mar 14 2003

       10' + car height clearance won't be much of a problem in the US. Our national freeway system has nice, tall overpasses. They built these in the 50s so that they could truck nukes wherever they needed to.   

       Oh, and if you're reading this, hi mom.
Worldgineer, Mar 14 2003

       Bad news: Baked (see link)
Good news: Those are totally cool sail cars. I guess he's not totally baked, inasmuch as no one's building these scaled down for consumers/enthusiasts.
Better news: the wing shape and low resistance actually allow land speed several multiples of wind speed!
You're still screwed when the wind dies though.
roby, Apr 01 2003


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