Feb 4, 2010

33rd Americas Cup: CFD Simulation Used to Design World's Biggest Wing

NEW YORK - CD-adapco has announced that BMW ORACLE Racing's Challenger for the 33rd America's Cup has be designed with the extensive aid of STAR-CCM+, an industry leading engineering simulation tool.

On February 8 2010, in the picturesque Spanish port of Valencia, BMW ORACLE Racing's skipper Russell Coutts will take command of one of the most technologically advanced - and hopefully fastest - boats ever built, in a bid to capture the 33rd America's Cup. The most remarkable feature of the trimaran - named "USA" - is that it will be powered not by a conventional sail, but rather by an enormous wing, bigger by far than an aircraft wing. Mike Drummond, BMW Oracle's Racing Design Director explains: "A wing of this scale has never been built for a boat. In terms of size, it dwarfs those on modern aircraft. Towering nearly 190ft (57m) above the deck, it is 80 per cent bigger than a wing on a 747 airplane."

The boat and wing were designed in just a few months by heavily leveraging engineering simulation technology at the expense of traditional experimental techniques such as wind tunnel and tow tank testing. In an exclusive interview, BMW Oracle's CFD Manager Mario Caponnetto explains how STAR-CCM+ was used to optimize the aerodynamic design of the wing and how visualization of the simulation helped to train sailors schooled on traditional sailing techniques how to modify their technique in order to maximize the advantage of the enormous wing.