Airbus, the world’s leading aircraft manufacturer and Oracle Team USA, the defending champion of the America’s Cup, have forged a technology partnership for the 35th America’s Cup. As the world’s leading aircraft manufacturer, Airbus will share their aerodynamics, instrumentation and simulation, composites, structures, hydraulics and data analysis expertise with the Oracle Team USA design team.
“There are so many similarities between the America’s Cup yacht and our aircraft design,” says Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and CEO. “Each partner benefits from an excellent platform not only to learn and grow but also to win.” America’s Cup yachts are primarily constructed of carbon fiber composite.
Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill agrees. “The America’s Cup is a boat race, but the design technology and engineering are very often the winning factor,” he says. “The new America’s Cup boats are lighter and faster than what we’ve had before.”
Oracle Team USA first won the America’s Cup in 2010 racing a trimaran powered by a 68 meter wing, one of the largest ever built. In 2013, the team successfully defended its title in the AC72 class – wingsail powered catamarans that flew above the water on hydrofoils at over 50 mph (90 kph). For the next America’s Cup, set for 2017, Oracle Team USA will race in the new AC62 class – a smaller, lighter and more finely engineered foiling catamaran than its predecessor.