Yep, it's a wind driven vehicle. However, before you saw the video I think you would swear any wind driven vehicle would never be able to achieve twice or three times wind speed going straight downwind. Am I right or wrong? I don't recall anyone calling it a "sail powered" vehicle. The only thing it has in common with a sailboat is the power source: wind. That, however, puts it in an exclusive group that also includes our beloved sailboats.
It did have telltails, streaming forward at first the rearward as the machine exceeded wind speed.
I know it's not a sailboat and may not be appropriate for this forum, I'm just a sucker for cleaver ideas and the people who see them through.
Will it ever have any use on a boat? Who know's? The future is full of surprises and someday we may find out that everything we know is wrong.
On a serious note, this is definitely fascinating stuff. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it. Not to take anything away from these guys, reading further along in the article it turns out this concept was previously proposed in the 1940's by a student at U Mich.
Also, did anyone notice that the author of the article is the same guy that the article is about? Kind of odd to write about himself like that.
But, like others, I don't consider it sailing, even if it is wind powered. We could have a wind-powered generator driving an electric motor. Would that count too?
I'd prefer to see efforts made toward improving windward
performance. Even garbage scows will sail well dead downwind.