Sailing Cars

I am no fan of wind power at all, but I do like entrepreneurial science, and the spirit that underlies it. The Greenbird Ecotricity Team won the world land-speed record for wind-powered vehicles the other day.

They are (like Reaction Engines, who are plotting the fabulous skylon spaceplane) a British outfit. They have used new materials, and a combination of sailing and aeroplane designs, to build a craft that can use the wind to go over 120 miles an hour.

Their adventure would have been worthwhile for the fun of it--much like these students, who photographed space from a balloon--but it also apparently sets all sorts of standards for the use of new materials that Ecotricity are going to use elsewhere.

When the oil runs down, I'm prepared to bet that carriage by sea, and by airship, are going to become important again--and (I don't make a nationalistic point) the engineering genius in these islands, which is forced to thrive in adversity, is going to have shown the way. Provided, of course, we have an economy and a world that wants to move things about!


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