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Gone With the Wind, Part 1: The Sailboat

Tue, 11/27/2007 - 5:40am

Productive Product: It was good enough for Columbus, Magellan, and Ellison, but is wind power -- the sail -- better in some cases than modern engines for oceanic cargo ships?  A few companies are voting affirmatively. A blogger for Network World writes, "A kite the size of a football field will provide most of the power for a German heavy freight ship set to launch in December. The Beluga shipping company that owns the 460-foot Beluga said it expects the kites to decrease fuel consumption by up to 50% in optimal cases as well as a cutback of the emission of greenhouse gases on sea by 10 to 20%. ... The company that makes the kite for the German transport, SkySails, has made kites for large yachts but is targeting commercial ships with new, larger kites. And it has the ambitious goal of equipping 1,500 ships with kites by 2015." The blogger also cites an American company, KiteShip, that has similar plans. Comment below. (Note: external links open in new windows.)

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