UnNews:Rocket-boat to circle globe in 80 minutes

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28 March 2010

"Hydropeter," currently the world's fastest sailing-rocket

LONDON, England -- The captain of a "Sailing-rocket" that has smashed world records in air over water now plans to fly-sail round the world in 80 minutes.

Frenchman Alain Thebault, skipper of "Hydropeter," a revolutionary sailing-rocket that looks exactly like a revolutionary sailing-rocket, says his next project is to circumnavigate the globe in 1/1000th the time it took Jules Verne to author the novel "Around the World in 80 Days."

"My dream is to circle the planet in 80 minutes," Thebault told CNN. "It is a project that is very close to my heart and that I believe in."

"Hydropeter," currently the world's fastest ‘Sailing-rocket’, gets its speed from after-burner powered rocket engines, and cute-little "water-wings" that lift the boat and enable it to "fly" several hundred meters above the water.

This innovation, which uses principles similar to those of rockets and boats, avoids being a drag by getting mentioned in UnNews. This allows the 24-meter sailing-rocket to achieve previously unimaginable speed and coolness.

Inventor Thebault started working on the design for "Hydropeter" nearly 75 years ago.

"Many years ago when I said I wanted to make a boat fly people said I was crazy," he told CNN - who tend to agree with them.

Thebault, who is aware of the dangers of his chosen sport, told the media, “It’s not any more dangerous than going over Niagara Falls in a barrel!”

In 2008, "Hydropeter" reached extreme speeds of over 1000 km per minute, before dramatically crashing into the sea wall off of South Shields. Luckily they used a crash dummy instead of Thebault.

"When you fly-sail at very high speeds, around 1000 km/minute, the water becomes like a chain-saw," he said. "So yes, it is dangerous. Sailing at very high speeds is similar to flying at very high speeds -- up there, you have to spend the most time possible."

Cquote1.png It would be even faster if we could fly across land too, but the Hydropeter cannot cross land. That’s because, while the ocean is made out of hydrogen and oxygen, the land is just made of dirt! Cquote2.png

Thebault and his team rebuilt "Hydropeter" and in late 2009 it became the fastest boat-rocket in the universe, traveling at over 1000 kpm over 500 kilometers in 30 seconds flat.

Thebault is currently building a larger version of the boat, "Hydropeter Maxi EXTREME XL 9000+," to make his attempt at crossing the world in under 20 minutes.

At 90 by 20 meters, Thebault hopes that his loins will react better over heavy seas and be able to accommodate a group of 9 sailors or 3 large women. He expects "Maxi EXTREME XL 9000+" to be sea-ready by December 21, 2012 and land ready by next Tuesday.

He likened his previous records and the round-the-world attempt to the difference between a 100-meter sprint and a tortoise crawling across a road: "They are completely different, but we want both. Wait! NO! We only want the first thing I mentioned!"

But before all that, the maverick pilot-sailor, who admits this project is both his profession and total-insanity, has another goal: He will attempt to cross the Pacific in three minutes in 2011 after being fired out of the world’s biggest cannon, being specially built to shoot him across the ocean, and he will land in a parachute.