Foilers - or hydrofoils - have become a new trend lately. The topic is beginning to be studied not only by yachtsmen, but also by all sympathizers. So, some people may get the false impression that foiling and, in general, the whole history of yachts, boats, passenger hydrofoils begins quite recently. But this is not the case! We decided to arrange a small educational program and tell briefly about the history of foilers. Get ready, it will be interesting!
The history of the creation of hydrofoils
The first development of hydrofoils began more than 100 years ago, when in 1906 the Italian Enrico Forlanini on his boat with a 60 hp propeller. reached a speed of 37 knots. Several engineers took notice of this, among them the Wright brothers and Alexander Graham Bell.
A few years later the speed of motor boats reached 50 knots, but only in 1938 the sailboat “got up” on hydrofoils. At the same time, the Americans Gilrut and Karl were able to accelerate to five knots on the foiler.
Becoming a foiling
1869 - The first patent was issued for a rowing boat with a hydrofoil. The application was submitted by the Frenchman Emmanuel Denis Fargo.
1906 - First hydrofoil boat. You can say "great-grandmother" of all today's foilers. Designed and built by Enrico Forlanini. She had a ladder-type design with several struts supporting several wings. Developed a speed of 36.9 knots.
1918 - Alexander Graham Bell and Casey Baldwin launch the HD-4. It weighed five tons and was powered by two 350 hp Liberty aircraft engines. each. The ship's speed was 52 knots. Later, the HD-4 hydrodrome set a new world record of 62 knots.
1938 - Americans R. Gilruth and Bill Karl create the first known sailing hydrofoil vessel.
1955 - Monitor reaches a speed of 25 knots. It was designed by Gordon Baker and built by the Baker Manufacturing Company of Evansville, Wisconsin.
Mass use and records
1970 - First hydrofoil cruiser. David Kuiper's Williwaw yacht cruises in the South Pacific. She walked 20,000 miles.
1974 Mayfly set the world record for Class A at 20 knots in Weymouth. In 1977 she set a higher bar at 23 knots.
1976 - Icarus, a modified Tornado foiler, sets a new world record in class B - 20.70 knots. By 1985, Grogono and Fowler had increased their speed to 28.14 knots.
1980 - Eric Tabarli breaks the transatlantic schooner Atlantic record by more than two days on the Paul-Ricard offshore foiler.
1990 - The Hobie Trifoiler, a two-sail trimaran with a mainsail on each outrigger, is capable of a speed of 30 knots. This makes it the fastest production sailing boat in the world. The prototype, Longshot, was developed by Dan and Greg Ketterman in collaboration with Russell Long.
1992 - Russell Long breaks his own world record in the Trifoiler for the fourth time with a speed of 43.55 knots.
1994 - Launched the L'Hydroptère trier by Alain Thébault.
1997 - Techniques Avancées set a new D-class world speed record of 42.12 knots.
Recent history of foiling
2005 - Rohan Veel won the International Mota World Championship in a Mot-class dinghy with hydrofoils.
2009 - L'Hydroptère set a new absolute world speed record at a distance of 500 m - 52 knots.
2012 - Sailrocket II breaks L'Hydroptère's record and sets a new all-time 500m world speed record - 65 knots.
2015 - Gunboat launches Gunboat G4, a cruising catamaran with a foiler.
2017 - Emirates Team New Zealand wins America's Cup in the AC50 hydrofoil catamaran.
2021 - Emirates Team New Zealand defends the America's Cup in 2021 with an all-new AC75 mono-hull with foil casing.
As you can see, foilers have been in the history of yachting and shipbuilding for a long time. Despite this, in the eyes of the mass consumer, foiling is "living a second birth." It is impossible to say exactly where the current popularity of hydrofoils will lead. But we can definitely say - it's worth trying foilers at least once in your life. Fresh experiences will never be superfluous for a yachtsman of any level!
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