Sailing into an uncertain future can be daunting - especially in a lightning-fast foiling yacht. But while Parker Hannifin and the U.S. team had high hopes of bringing the America’s Cup back home this year, it wasn’t to be. On January 17th, 2021, American Magic was leading a race against the Italian challenger when its PATRIOT vessel capsized, leaving a gaping hole in its hull. The boat was repaired in record time, but the U.S. team was eliminated from the Prada Cup Semifinal shortly after.
It was certainly a disappointing result but, to Parker, American Magic represented more than just a state-of-the-art race boat. More than an elite team with the potential to bring the oldest trophy in international sport back home. It’s a technology testbed, and an opportunity to push the limits of what is possible with motion and control.
Parker became the official control systems partner of the New York Yacht Club-backed U.S. team in 2019. But the out-of-the-box thinking and product innovation piloted here has the potential to benefit many, well into the future.
“We are incredibly grateful to have had this opportunity,” says Mark Czaja, Parker’s Chief Technology and Innovation Officer. “Supporting the American Magic Team and preparing for the 36th America’s Cup enabled Parker to show what we can do with additive manufacturing and some of our electric solutions.”
Indeed, keeping the groundbreaking monohull design balanced on two hydrofoils—essentially flying over the water— required Parker to go broad and deep, drawing on core products from several different divisions and groups within the company, modifying them and bringing new technology to bear.
Parker leveraged its additive manufacturing and rapid prototyping capabilities to print control system components in plastic, steel and titanium and help bring the overall design concept to life.
What’s next in the high speed, high flying world of foiling yacht racing? The 36th America’s Cup will take place without the Americans next month. For the U.S., the next opportunity may come as soon as 2025 with 37th America’s Cup. Despite the outcome of this Cup campaign, there are a whole host of other winners according to Czaja:
“Parker and others have used this friendly competition between nations to demonstrate our technologies and engineering capabilities. It pushes our boundaries and it’s not a stretch to say that much of what we’ve been testing here will permeate into the Parker products and systems of the future.”
We often say Parker’s Purpose enables us to build on the accomplishments of the past century, and set the stage for future growth. With American Magic, Parker is indeed leading with Purpose: Enabling Engineering Breakthroughs that Lead to a Better Tomorrow.
Click here for Part One of this story, Sailing into the Future