Progress From Prowess: Flying Boats Fear UFOs

Nowadays, some boats fly out of the ocean. And they fly faster than the first planes did, a bit more than a century ago. Foils located below the boats lift them out of the water, and that, in turn reduce friction considerably. Water is one thousand times denser than air. Kinetic energy is ½ mvv, so the energy imparted by an underwater foil, creating lift, will do so with a much smaller surface than a wing [1].  A drastic problem, though, is UFOs. Flying boats go really fast, they can cruise at twenty meters per second (seventy feet). When they encounter an Unidentified Floating Object, it doesn’t work too well. This problem should be fixed for a variety of reasons, from moral to technological, to economic, to, one should say, spiritual.

Technological progress is important: it is the essence of humanity and gave birth to it through a process of artificially natural self-selection. In particular present humanity, with 7.8 billion individuals, using the technologies it had to use to get to its present situation, has put spaceship Earth on an unsustainable course. 

There are two ways out of this: either a spectacular regression, through war, famine and collapse, or a spectacular progress into new technologies which will make our integration with the biosphere sustainable again. 

Around the World Record Holder: 40 days, 23 hours and 30 minutes. In 2017 [2]. It is presently equipped in 2020 with new foils which enables it to stand more outside of the ocean, just skim the water, and went already half way around the world in less than 20 days

The first around the world sailing record for circumnavigation of the world was the Basque Juan Sebastián Elcano and the remaining members of Ferdinand Magellan‘s crew who completed their journey in 1522…. After nearly three years of navigation (and only one ship left out of five; 35 circumnavigators survived out of an initial 270… Let it not be said that the global world we now enjoy was obtained cheaply. And as far as “colonialism” is concerned… Magellan died because it took part in a local war in the Philippines; the main aim of Magellan’s expedition was to prove one could circumnavigate, and thus obtain spices such as pepper and cloves from the Maluku Islands more cheaply…)

Sailing while flying from and out of water could be a technology of the future even for the most massive transport of goods and people. The technology uses computers, because electronics is faster than neurology. High flying kites dragging a boat could help too…

Trading goods is a global, essential activity that creates much of the world’s pollution as it is, and it is therefore essential to reduce said pollution, without killing trading (We trade your brawn against our brains!)

Some have whined that boats going at 25 meters per second through the ocean could collide with sea mammals, and fast sailing was, therefore, an unethical activity. Actually the problem of UFOs, unidentified Floating Objects is dramatic for flying sail boats. In the present Vendee Globe, several boats were damaged by impacts with UFOs, and had to hobble into port (not necessarily from damage to just the foils: the boats go so fast that they can be damaged anywhere). In early November a catamaran hit a UFO in the Atlantic, and capsized, killing the pilot (others below deck survived). Many of these UFOs are… containers dropped from giant cargo ships.

The impact on and with sea mammals could probably be reduced precisely because the foils make noise, from cavitation, the formation of bubbles, and should warn sea creatures. Maybe studies could be made to generate a clearer warning, or maybe collisions are mostly with man-made oceanic debris, and that, per se, should be an important object of study leading to diminution thereof. A French company is making devices which scan the sea ahead of the boats. Flying maxi trimarans have also to steer around icebergs (from satellite data), and growlers…(by looking out!) 

Other ships collide with sea creatures, but nobody cares as the ships are too large to be affected by the collisions. Hence the high speed collisions of flying maxi-trimarans with UFOs attract attention to this problem, which has been so far ignored. Efforts to avoid collisions, necessary for the maxi flying trimarans, and other flying boats, could then lead to reducing collisions and pollutants in the high seas, both laudable objectives. Thus sailboat flying is morally correct.

So let’s celebrate the efforts to fly on boats around the world in less than 40 days! Such efforts are not just technological and even scientific prowess, but also economic and moral prowess!

Meanwhile Elon Musk’s SpaceX flew its astounding Spaceship, SN8, eight of the name. It landed hard, from low pressure in the “header tank”… and exploded, but the test was nevertheless wildly successful. It demonstrated all sorts of capabilities, including aerosurfaces precision control and the ability to flip the huge vehicle upright just before landing. All this is key to the possibility to use rocketry in all sorts of ways, including going around the world in less than an hour… And we will take off from Mars, after fueling there, because it is apparently possible to make oxygen and methane on the Red Planet, from large quantities of briny water, therein. Why to go there? Will whine the losers… Why to go anywhere?

Some will whine that all these technological prowess, from SpaceX or French flying sailboats, is fundamentally inhuman. Far from it. It is those who condemn technological prowess as both exploit and solution, who have understood nothing to human nature, and are fundamentally inhuman.

Patrice Ayme



[1] Why planes fly is not very clear(!) There are many effects to consider. Same thing for boats, thus flying boats have many types of foils/wings. 

My own guess is that what is most important is the deflection of energy, in which direction the 1/2mvv can be sent. That explains why under water foils can be so small: if just the Bernoulli Principle applied, foils would have to be as large as 1/1,000 as wings. Besides, the Bernoulli Principle, long considered, I think erroneously, as the main reason why the wings of planes provide lift, does not, cannot apply to sailboat foils; because water is not compressible… (Or, at least, not significantly so!)  , 

Actually the world record holder for going around the world, IDEC Sport, a pretty old boat from 2006, established its record in 2017. Then IDEC was fitted with new, more advanced foils, and immediately beat the record of Tea Route, Hong Kong to London. With its new foils, the main part of IDEC just skims on top of the water, it does not outright lift out of the water as more recent boats do. But that is obviously enough to reduce friction considerably. IDEC can cover more than a thousand miles in 24 hours.

No improved technology, no progress… What those who don’t want to go back to the Moon forget…


[2] This boat changed names, not just technologies, a few times, as its (French) sponsors changed. It was known initially as Groupama 3, and had been made for a particular skipper, frank Cammas.

After two abortive attempts ending in 2008 and 2009, Groupama 3 finally took the Jules Verne Trophy in 2010 with a time of 48 days, 7 hours 44 minutes and 52 seconds. Ten years after her record-breaking Transatlantic dash, and now named Idec Sport, the boat again holds the Jules Verne Trophy after Francis Joyon and his crew took her non-stop around the world in 40 days 23 hours, 30 minutes and 30 seconds.

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6 Responses to “Progress From Prowess: Flying Boats Fear UFOs”

  1. Gmax Says:

    Fascinating. So this flying boat is going around the globe right now? I thought you didn’t like global? LOL
    Can you develop what you said about how plane fly a bit more, please?


  2. Vikki Stefans Says:

    “Other ships collide with sea creatures, but nobody cares as the ships are too large to be affected by the collisions. Hence the high speed collisions of flying maxi-trimarans with UFOs attract attention to this problem, which has been so far ignored. Thus sailboat flying is good.”

    Vikki Stefans
    Patrice, are you okay?


    • Kathleen Hawes Watkins Says:

      Vikki Stefans You may be confused by her UFO = Unidentified Floating Objects – – i.e., cargo/shipping containers that have fallen from ships and are hazards out on ocean for smaller craft. Read her full article and it will make complete sense.🙂


      • Vikki Stefans Says:

        OK that’s better – if you google “high speed collisions of flying maxi-trimarans with ufo” you get something else entirely, and I don’t get the “sailboat flying is good” part. They may skim or skip but could still run into stuff.


  3. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Kathleen Hawes Watkins, Vikki Stefans
    UFOs exist, and are definitely a threat. Why sailboat flying is good is explained by the enormous emissions of CO2 from shipping. International shipping is a large and growing source of greenhouse gas emissions. The EU supports global action to tackle these emissions and has put in place EU-wide data collection measures.

    Maritime transport emits around 940 million tonnes of CO2 annually and is responsible for about 2.5% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (3rd IMO GHG study).

    These emissions are projected to increase significantly if mitigation measures are not put in place swiftly. According to the 3rd IMO GHG study, shipping emissions could under a business-as-usual scenario increase between 50% and 250% by 2050.
    FLYING SAILBOAT TECH if adopted by large ships could reduce emissions enormously


  4. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Kathleen Hawes Watkins, Vikki Stefans A giant cargo ship, 364 meters long, that’s 1.200 feet, just lost 1,800 containers in a storm, 84 of them, toxic…


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