Maker Faire Bay Area 2011


Is it possible to make a wind powered vehicle that goes directly downwind faster than the wind - steady state? We built the "Blackbird" to prove it can be done, and established a world record by going directly downwind at nearly 3X wind speed.

Website Video

Project photo.

About the Maker(s)

Rick Cavallaro

- Sportvision Inc

Rick Cavallaro currently serves as Chief Scientist for Sportvision. Rick has received 25 patents and an Emmy for his work developing computer graphic enhancements for sport broadcasts (such as the yellow first down line and the virtual strike zone). Rick received a B.S.A.E. from GA Tech in 1984 and an M.S.A.E. from UCLA in 1988. After working in aerospace for several years, Rick lost his way and ended up at three different silicon valley start-ups. Aviation and aerodynamics are now a passion, but no longer a vocation. Rick is an avid pilot of hang gliders and paragliders, and spends as much time as possible kitesurfing.

John Borton

JB was born to build stuff, especially if it flies. He started at 10 years old by removing the lawnmower engine in an attempt to build his favorite aircraft -- a helicopter and continued at 11 with a home built hang glider (an aircraft type he still flies 35 years later). He has been a design/build project manager on construction efforts as large as billion dollar semiconductor fabs and as small as telemetry systems fitting inside football helmets and hockey pucks. He holds both National and World Championship gold medals in soaring aircraft using equipment of his own design and when not busy acting as Director of Manufacturing for Sportvision Inc. ... you guessed it, he builds stuff at his home in Los Gatos, CA


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