in Aerospace / Events

Oracle Team USA and Airbus unveil AC Class catamaran

Posted 15 February 2017 · Add Comment

Oracle Team USA have unveiled their new yacht developed in collaboration with Airbus that will race the America's Cup, in Bermuda, in June 2017.

Above: The Oracle Team USA which successfully won the America’s Cup in 2013 wants to stay winners in the 2017 race in Bermuda. In order to do so it went into a two year partnership with the plane maker Airbus to build a newly designed boat that will more than ever 'fly on water'.

The American AC Class catamaran embeds many innovations as the result of a two year partnership between the two engineering design leaders where Airbus is Official Innovation Partner of Oracle Team USA.

“The new AC Class yacht really displays what a leading sailing champion and a leading aircraft manufacturer can achieve together. We share the science of aerodynamics and we are all very proud of both teams for their pioneering spirit and engagement to excel in bringing the AC Class to reality,” said Charles Champion, Airbus Executive Vice President Engineering. “With Oracle Team USA we set a goal to support the team to design a yacht to win the America's Cup Trophy for the third time in a row. We look forward to seeing this boat flying above water later in June.”

Flying and sailing have many similarities in fields such as aerodynamics, composites and structures, hydraulics and control systems, data measurement and analysis. As a result, the new AC Class yacht features lighter and stronger components.

A new interface and 'high level' control system is required to control the stability of the yacht in foiling condition and since beginning of 2017, Airbus has provided expertise in the design of a 'control system'. Improvements in this area were required to enhance the team’s ability to fly on foils for 100% of the race time, considered a key requirement to be dominant in this next America’s Cup.

“The innovative ‘control system’ technology on this boat is adapted from the aerospace world. This hydraulics control system allow us to actively control the foils and overall stability of the yacht with a significant improvement in performance”, said Grant Simmer, Oracle Team USA Managing Director. “The relationship with Airbus is beyond our expectations showing flexibility to adapt and propose new solutions according to our needs. We have truly grown and evolved together.”

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