Dec 13, 2017

New Flying Phantom version for 2018 : The 'Ultimate'

In April  2017 I published an article wondering if the new Nacra 17 MKII was going to become the ultimate racing foiler. Preliminary tests & footage looked great, specially the foiling gybes by Bora Gulari & Helena Scutt. That great initial drive later was put down a bit on the actual performance of the MKII on the course race, with reports on being slower than the MKI upwind for ie in some conditions. Flights downwind remained really good, and the Live racing we saw from Kiel were excellent.

But Upwind foiling performance is not there yet , neither in the A-Class or other foilers. The Ultimate foiler cat needs to achieve 100% upwind flights which were only done by the AC45 Turbo & AC50s (the AC72 did not foil 100% upwind by any chance).
That is the target of this new Flying Phantom. Neither the FP Elite or the Nacra F20 have reached this tough goal.

The massive mainfoils , reduced weight and windage plus new DS sails might provide this new FP 'Ultimate' version, with the holly grail many designers are searching for beachcat racing foilers.

It will achieve that goal as seen at Bermuda by the AC50s? We don't know yet, thus the question mark remains.
Lets see if  the 'FP Ultimate' can walk the talk of its branding name. Looks a weapon , so it could be the case. We'll see.  Hulls & Foils were designed by  Gonzalo Redondo / D3 Applied Technologies.

Below a QA I did with Alex Udin on the announcement of this new FP Ultimate version:

- Which was the main reason to launch a new FP version? This looks like the Ultimate production foiler, aside its branding name.
Alex Udin: The last AC50 have achieved a major mile stone for foiling cat especially in therms of the upwind performance and in maneuvers. We believe it was a good opportunity to introduce some of these new design features and adapt them to small foiling cats.

- Main goal is to foil 100% upwind , from which wind speed you guys foresee an efficient foiling upwind VMG ?
The Ultimate has a lot more righting moment as compared to the FP Elite due to the new boards, it is making a big difference up wind. The VMG is up 15% higher upwind as you can see on the plot. The boat starts foiling upwind efficiently from 8 knots of true wind speed.

- Z boards solution are still not providing a 100% upwind solution in the A-Class nor in the Nacra 17 MKII. That was the reason to keep developing over TNZ 3pt foil system orig concept? Were Z foils even an option for the intended 100% upwind foiling target?
AU: From day one we believe 4 points set up with Z boards is great for a more user friendly program

like the FP Essentiel or single handed boat like A class but it has drag penalty especially upwind. According to the VPP it was clear that the way to go for a high performance boat was a 3 points set up with L shape boards. 

- What 4pt Z provides is easier foiling gybes as you don't to raise/put down handling , is there any new special system or mechanic or strategy to pull smooth foiling gybes with this new platform?
I've seen John Tomko pulling foiling gybes on the FP Elite leaving both down for ie.

AU: We have gained so much righting moment and heave stability with the new boards that we could sacrifice some drag with larger rudder elevators which helps a lot in maneuvers such as foiling gybes.

- Full carbon platform, now including beams, targeting 155kg, which is the production weight of the FP Elite?
AU: The total weight of the FP Elite ready to sail is 165kg, the Ultimate is 10kg lighter due to the slimmer hulls, carbon beams and rudder systems...

- This new FP features a Decksweeper from its inception, how were the tests done with the FP Elite if any , on standard sail vs DS?
AU: We are introducing a new deck sweeper main and also a new low aspect ratio jib in the Ultimate (both now also available on the FP Elite) . They have lower centre of effort, the deck sweeper limits induced drag (vortex) at the bottom of the sails, like the wingtips of a airplane, making the sail more efficient. Overall, it generates more driving force for less heeling moment which make the boat easier to foil and more efficient.

- Does the new mainfoils fit the FP Elite case?
AU: The FP Ultimate has a new hull design, the foils are positioned much more outward on the hull, They won't fit on the FP Elite hulls.

- Platform looks powerful , with some huge main foils, looks a beast of a racing foiler. The Ultimate is targeting experienced sailors with foiling background only I assume?

AU: The new FP Ultimate is dedicated to high performance lovers and experienced sailors. We have worked hard to improve the efficiency of the boat but also the stability, The new dagger boards are creating much more righting moment but they are also more stable in heave, the new rudders with larger elevators makes the boat even more stable with a better control. The target was not break speed records in straight lines reaching but to have a more efficient boat on every point of sail.

Lets see what sailors can do with it but I think they might go all around the race course without almost touching the water !

- You maintained overall looks and kept 18'lenght, but hulls are quite diff from the FP / Phantom one. You have now 3 diff Foiler platforms. Does the FP will continue to be built?
AU: We believe 18' is a good compromise for a double handed boat. The 3 boats have different programs are adapted to different uses to suit your needs.

The FP Elite as its own class and its own circuits, the FP Series / Extreme Sailing Series and Red Bull Foiling Generation. It will still be produced.

The FP Essentiel is designed to make foiling more accessible. Lower priced, user-friendly and versatile. The perfect catamaran to learn how to foil.

The FP Ultimate is an evolution of the ELITE. It has different hull, rudder and foil designs to be more efficient foiling around the course. For high performance catamaran addicts!

- Another OD Class is on analysis, or this new platform is targeted for hardcore long distance blue ribbons only?
AU: The plan is to develop a One Design class within the next 2 years,

- When first production hulls are scheduled?

AU: Production is starting in January, the first boats will be delivered by the end of April

- Price range for the Ultimate vs the Elite & Essentiel?

FP Ultimate starts from 41 900 Euros ex tax

FP Elite starts from 38 500 Euros ex tax

FP Essentiel starts from 22 995 Euros ex tax


Press release sent by Phantom International:
New Phantom Foiling Catamaran: the FP ULTIMATE
Phantom International is pleased to introduce its latest foiling catamaran : the Flying Phantom ULTIMATE, designed to be furthermore efficient on every point of sail, with upwind VMG up to 15% higher than foiling cat benchmark. For high performance addicts!

Stability for maximum performances
« It’s not about pure speed, but about efficiency and stability », explains Phantom founder and CEO Alex Udin. « There is no point building a boat that can beat speed records on straight line because reaching 35+ knots trapezing on a 18ft catamaran is clearly too frightening. What we wanted is a foiling cat that can fly and perform well on every point of sail. The design brief was clear: 100% foiling upwind with enhanced performance and stability and better foiling gybes. It is something that has never been achieved before on this type of boats »

The Flying Phantom ULTIMATE is the result of Phantom International unrivaled experience in foiling beach catamarans combined with the benefits from the last AC50 developments in Bermuda during the America’s Cup.

« To design the FP ULTIMATE, Phantom has worked closely with some of the best experts in the yachting industry, including Gonzalo Redondo (A-Class design expert), Benjamin Muyl (head of America’s Cup Land Rover Bar Design Team), and famous French sailor Franck Cammas », adds Alex Udin.

The Flying Phantom ULTIMATE is limited to 12 units this season

Don't miss out: pre-orders will be open on Monday 18th December for a delivery in May 2018.
Send an email to Phantom International

FP ULTIMATE key features
The hulls are lighter and have less windage because the freeboard is lower. They have less drag at low speed which improves take off.

The daggerboards / foils reach outboard to increase righting moment which improves upwind foiling. The straight shaft and long tip result in better heave stability and the aspect ratio of the tip is higher, increasing the efficiency.

The rudders have been optimized to improve the stiffness for better handling and control.

The shape of the rudder elevators is also more efficient, with wing tips to reduce induced drag and smooth shaft / elevator junction to reduce pressure drag.

Now that the foils are more efficient we managed to increase the elevator area for the same overall drag, which results in better stability on every point of sail and in the manoeuvres and especially the foiling gybes.

Upwind VMG is up to 15% higher on the FP ULTIMATE

Third boat in Phantom foiling catamaran range
All Phantom catamarans are 18’ long one-design boats and they have different programs are adapted to different uses/to suit your needs.

FP ELITE: launched in 2014, it was the first Flying Phantom designed by Phantom International. It is a high performance boat for experienced sailors. Has its own class and its own circuits (the FP Series / Extreme Sailing Series, and Red Bull Foiling Generation)

FP ESSENTIEL: launched on December 2016, designed to make foiling more accessible. Lower priced, user-friendly and versatile. The perfect catamaran to learn how to foil.

FP ULTIMATE: is an evolution of the ELITE. It has different hull, rudder and foil designs to be more efficient foiling around the course. For high performance catamaran addicts!

Technical specs: 
Designers: D3 Applied Technologies & Phantom International
Consultants: Benjamin Muyl , Franck Cammas
Lenght: 5,5mts / 18'
Width: 3mts
Mast: 9,6mt / Tapred / Prepreg High Modulus Carbon cured in Autoclave
Beams: Prepreg High Modulus Carbon cured in Autoclave
Daggerboards: Prepreg High Modulus Carbon cured in Autoclave , Draft: 1,40mt
Rudders: Prepreg High Modulus Carbon cured in Autoclave ,  Draft 1,15mt
Rudder Elevator: Prepreg High Modulus Carbon cured in Autoclave , 443cm2
Hulls: Pre Preg Carbon, Nomex Honeycomb sandwich, cured at high temp
Mainsail: Decksweeper / Dyneema membrane / 18.5m2 with mast
Jib: Low aspect ratio / Dyneema membrane  / 4,5m2
Gennaker:  Top mast head, Polyester, 21m2

Retail price: from 41900 euros ex-tax, ex-factory Dinard / France

More info on Phantom International website on January 1st, 2018.