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CU engineering students hoping to fly


Xenia Daily Gazette

CEDARVILLE — Cedarville University’s solar boat racing team, which has won nine world solar splash titles, hopes to build its next boat so that it will “fly on water.”

Leading this effort for Cedarville are former solar boat team members Elijah Thompson and Caleb Jacobson, both 2016 mechanical engineering graduates. They and four other engineering students submitted a 20-page technical article introducing their recent breakthrough in hydrofoil design to the International Hydrofoil Society. Their work netted them an honorable mention on their website and a $1,000 prize.

​In two years, Cedarville University hopes to race a hydrofoil solar boat in competitions throughout the world.

The goal, according to Dr. Tim Dewhurst, senior professor of engineering and solar boat team coach, is to expand the minds and capabilities of Cedarville University engineering students. If the team wins championships as a result of the new concepts, that will be a significant benefit.

“This work by the students shows me that they are at a level where they are capable of working with experts in the field,” said Dewhurst.

Hydrofoil acts as a sort of wing in the water. This wing lifts the boat completely out of the water allowing the boat to use, according to Dewhurst, a lot less force to reach a certain speed. In essence, hydrofoil design allows boats to fly above the water to encounter much less water friction. This decreased friction increases speed and functionality on the water. The world’s fastest sailing boat used this technology to reach an average speed of 51.36 knots (59.1 mph).


Content provided by Cedarville University.