Robert Gilruth: The First Foiling Catamaran-1938

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Doug Lord, Jan 27, 2016.

  1. Doug Lord
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    Location: Cocoa, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Robert Gilruth: The First Foiling Sailing Catamaran-1938

    I love it when I learn something new and I just heard about Mr. Gilruth's hydrofoil development today. He was the head of NASA's Manned Space Program for many years but before then , in 1938 , he developed what was probably the first foiling sailboat and certainly the first foiling catamaran.
    Found the story here: http://forums.sailinganarchy.com/index.php?showtopic=171516

    Gilruth is mentioned in this article: http://www.ingenia.org.uk/Ingenia/Articles/870

    "But it wasn’t until 1938 that a sailing boat got up onto foils with Americans Robert Rowe Gilruth and Carl William Price, who managed to achieve the same feat, albeit more slowly, under sail."

    -------------------
    From www.foils.org/popmags.htm--a book by William P.Carl:

    "This story begins in 1938, in Bob Gilruth's bathroom... he started with 6-inch models...from the model tests, a full scale, 12-foot sailing catamaran with hydrofoils, CATAFOIL I was built and operated in the Chesapeake for several years."

    The first sailing catamaran foiler, CATAFOIL I:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
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    Location: Cocoa, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Found a bit more on Gilruth's foiler design in this AYRS paper:

    R. Gilruth and Bill Cart, also of the US and of the NACA started experimenting
    with foils in 1938. They successfully flew a catamaran hydrofoil
    sailing craft which took off at 5 knots and cruised at 12 knots. The main
    foil had an aspect ratio of 11 : I, a 12 ft span, a I ft chord and the remarkable
    L/D ratio of 25 : I. The foil section was one of big camber for high lift at low speed, like NACA 65-506.
    (Bold by DL)

    The AYRS document is too large for this forum. If you're interested in it,e-mail me and I'll send it.
    ===================

    Gilruth's patent: http://www.google.com/patents/US2703063
     
  3. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Catafoil

    The patent also shows the rear foil and how it is rigged.
     
  4. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher


  5. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 16,577
    Likes: 297, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 1362
    Location: Cocoa, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Gordon Baker

    I hadn't seen that great article before-thanks, Hoyt!
     
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