Airbus backs US challenge for America’s Cup

European aeronautics company Airbus has partnered with American Magic, the US challenger for the 36th America’s Cup, with the two parties seeking to develop a boat that can deliver the sailing showpiece’s trophy back to the United States.

American Magic is being operated by the New York Yacht Club and Airbus will serve as its innovation partner. In this role, Airbus will allocate engineering resources and modelling expertise to assist in the design optimisation of American Magic’s future AC75 racing boat.

Airbus will provide engineering support in areas such as simulation capabilities development, systems architecture design and testing, hydrodynamic calculation and optimisation, boat control and instrumentation.

“This is a true challenge for the team to see how they can optimise technological innovation under tight time and resource constraints,” Jean Brice Dumont, executive vice-president of engineering at Airbus, said. “We love good, clean competition. That’s what pushes us to continually improve at innovating, solve challenges, learn from experience and, ultimately, win. Our goal in this project is to help American Magic design the fastest possible flying yacht for 2021.”

Airbus previously partnered with the US defending team, Oracle Team USA, in the lead up to the 35th America’s Cup in 2017. The company said resulting concrete benefits have included improved wing tip design for its A350 airliner and new instrumentation now currently used on all aircraft development.

“It was important to have an innovation partner with past America’s Cup experience,” Terry Hutchinson, skipper and executive director of New York Yacht Club American Magic, said. “Airbus’ expertise and personnel will be critical to a Cup-winning design team.

“This engineering partnership has been active for the better part of 2018 and is nothing short of awesome. Together we will push sailing technology forward, win the biggest prize in the sport, and inspire sailors here at home and around the world.”

Following Team New Zealand’s victory in the 35th America’s Cup, Auckland is set to be the hub for the next edition which is set to come to a climax in March 2021.