As the official innovation partner for ORACLE TEAM USA, Parker Hannifin is applying its decades of experience in aircraft engineering and motion control to design, manufacture, and implement the hydraulic control systems on the team’s racing yacht. This partnership will use cutting-edge technology to produce the fastest catamaran in the world to defend the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda in June of 2017.
Flying above the water
These racing platforms are as similar to airplanes as they are to conventional boats. The 50-foot hydrofoiling catamarans lift out of the water on hydrofoils and "fly" above the water at high speeds. Precise control systems are critical, stabilizing the boat as it takes flight across the water.
“We are looking for systems that are extremely accurate and precise to allow us to stay stable while in flight. We are utilizing the technology that Parker uses in aerospace, and these boats are now going extremely fast. The collaboration with Parker is allowing us to be able to push the envelope of these products further and further than we probably would have been able to without their help.”
Brad Webb, Onboard Systems Manager, ORACLE TEAM USA
Integrated system helps achieve stability
Nearly every actuator and moving surface on the ORACLE TEAM USA boat has been redesigned using Parker products.
“As part of the collaboration, we get to provide not only the Parker product, but the expertise to help advance the state of the art of racing technology ... Together, we are creating a brand-new boat that nobody’s ever done before.”
Stuart Meurer, Parker Hannifin
Advancements onboard the yachts
- Hydraulic actuation provides motion and control for the daggerboard, rudder, jib and wing
- Position-sensing systems and the IQAN controller provide the ‘brains’ of the operation
- Pumps and motors provide the hydraulic power used to move all surfaces and sails on the yacht
“We really have taken a quantum leap in terms of technology ... The Parker system really comes through in the foiling system in the board control ... The relationship we have with all of these guys from Parker is amazing. I don’t think we would be anywhere near where we are at this moment without them.”
James Spithill, Skipper, ORACLE TEAM USA
Watch this video to learn more as the ORACLE TEAM USA crew discusses how Parker is helping to push the limits of what is possible on the water to help defend the 35th America’s Cup:
This post was contributed by Stuart Meurer, Parker project manager on the ORACLE TEAM USA yacht.