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[Video Link] We’ve covered the wind kart creations of Rick Cavallaro and his colleague John Borton many times in the pages of MAKE and Make: Online. Why? Because we are fascinated by their successful efforts to build a wind-powered kart that can move directly downwind faster than the wind.

After proving that “DDWFTTW” (Directly Downwind Faster Than The Wind) travel is possible, Rick and John decided to build a kart that moves upwind faster than the wind. Again, they succeeded! Yesterday, Rick announced: “The record is official. NALSA (North American Land Sailing Association) has ratified the upwind record at 2.1X wind speed. CNN aired this segment on our wind powered cart. Nice segment, but it seems they forgot to mention that the vehicle was designed to go directly upwind (at about 2X wind speed) and directly downwind (at about 3X wind speed).”

Mark Frauenfelder

Mark Frauenfelder

Mark Frauenfelder is the editor-in-chief of Make magazine, and the founder of the popular Boing Boing blog.


  • http://github.com/SeveredBrain SeveredBrain

    WINDMILLS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY! GOODNIGHT!

  • http://adcurtin.wordpress.com adcurtin

    CNN: “something bound by the laws of physic defies the laws of physics!”

    CNN used to be respectable (I think), this is like the Enquirer or some shit.

  • Rick Cavallaro

    Thanks Mark for following this project and posting updates. It’s been quite a ride.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002531076048 Justin Forposting

    Does anyone have a link to a description on the physics of this thing? there are links to how to build your own and to demonstration videos, but I mean something where someone with math and free body diagrams explains how this works?

  • balloonatic

    You know that thought experiment where you leave monkeys in a room with typewriters for a length of time? I think that’s how the script for the presenters was produced. I hope any monkeys reading this are not offended.

    • Rick Cavallaro

      > “You know that thought experiment where you leave monkeys in a room with typewriters for a length of time? I think that’s how the script for the presenters was produced.”

      I can see how it would appear that way to a monkey. For someone that can follow basic physics and logic it will make perfect sense.

      • Rick Cavallaro

        I think I misinterpreted your comment balloonatic. Please accept my apology.

        • Rip

          Apologizing, what are you trying to do, break the internet…

          • Rick Cavallaro

            When I’m wrong I like to beat my detractors to the punch. Perhaps the most surprising thing I learned through this project is just how hard some people find it to admit a mistake. But it’s not painful at all. I wish they’d try it.

  • Nick

    That’s some really interesting engineering, and some really disheartening reporting.

  • Pingback: Rant Plus » Blog Archive » New Speed Record for Wind-Powered Kart()

  • Barks

    Exactly!

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