The hydrofoil craft is described as a "fighter jet on water."
The first images of Sir Ben Ainslie’s new racing yacht have come in, and the British racer is calling the boat the most advanced he’s ever had.
The British design team who built the Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing AC45 T2 craft have likened it to a fighter jet, citing use of cutting edge technologies from both the automotive and aerospace industries.
At 45 feet, Ainslie’s T2 boat is a prototype design for the America’s Cup team whose final build, yet to come, is expected to reach speeds in excess of 50 mph.
As four-time Olympic gold medallist and America’s Cup winner Ainslie explains: “T2 is an extraordinary achievement; everyone on the design, engineering and shore teams have put everything they have got into this boat. Power is nothing without control, and there has been no compromise in the pursuit of both. All of the sailing team are grateful and privileged to get the opportunity to test fly this unique craft.”
Headed up by Land Rover’s Ben Ainslie Racing project, the boat’s all-British design team includes former America’s Cup winners as well as a host of British collaborators including Red Bull Advanced Technologies and the advanced technology business Prodrive.
The team said the boat, which was taken for its first test from the Land Rover BAR headquarters in Portsmouth, on the UK’s southern coast, is part of a new era of British maritime design and technology.
Andy Claughton, Land Rover BAR Chief Technology Officer and two-time America’s Cup winner said: “This is the most technologically advanced sailing boat I’ve ever been involved with. It’s the vital next step on our path to developing the boat that will challenge for the America’s Cup, containing some of the most innovative and powerful technology ever used in this competition.”
The T2 sails on a 2.5m hydrofoil the size of a wakeboard and weighs over 3 tons with its full complement of six crew. It borrows some of Formula 1’s hydraulic technology and its innovative wing sail designs use the same principles of lift that enable aircraft to fly.
See the photos in the gallery below.