Downwind Faster Than the Wind

By Anupum Pant

You wouldn’t believe me if I told you, there’s a team that constructed a land vehicle with a huge propeller and it, without any engines running, can travel about 2.8 times faster than the wind! Physicists and aeronautical engineers would have their heads scratching their heads when they hear this. It sounds physically impossible, but it’s true.

Rick Cavallaro and his team brought into reality an engineering marvel, an idea that most physicists would say, is impossible. A wind powered car that beats the wind. They call it Downwind faster than the wind, or DWFTTW.

With the help of Google and Joby Energy, Cavallaro built this four wheeled vehicle with a 17 foot propeller. It was first made of foam and copied the aerodynamics of an F1 race car. The propeller is what makes it go faster than the wind, but it confuses people.

It somewhat works like this – The wind turns the propeller, and they turn the wheels. The wheels then power the propeller and it again sends back power to the wheels and so on. Before you know, the car is doing a speed faster than the thing that powers it! Sounds like unlimited energy, but it’s the wind that does all the work. And it really works

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