Airbus lifts Oracle’s America’s Cup defence

Oracle Team USA, defending champion of sailing’s America’s Cup, has boosted the defence of its title by agreeing a technology partnership with aircraft manufacturer Airbus.

As official innovation partner of Oracle Team USA for the 35th America’s Cup in 2017, Airbus will share the know-how of its engineers and experts in fields such as aerodynamics, instrumentation and simulation, composites, structures, hydraulics and data analysis.

“This is a completely new endeavour for us,” Fabrice Brégier, Airbus president and chief executive, said. “By taking on an extreme technology and sports project of this magnitude we stretch our competencies and further boost our agility. There are so many similarities between the America’s Cup yacht and our aircraft design, that each partner benefits from an excellent platform not only to learn and grow but also to win.”

Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill added: “The America’s Cup is a boat race, but the design technology and engineering are very often the winning factor. The new America’s Cup boats are lighter and faster than what we’ve had before. They will be powered by a wing and will fly above the water on foils. They’re as much like airplanes as they are like traditional boats, so I know we’ll have a lot to learn from the experience the engineers at Airbus bring to the project.”