Risking My Life To Settle A Physics Debate
Everyone will say this craft breaks the laws of physics. This video is sponsored by Kiwico, For 50% off your first month of any subscription crate from KiwiCo (available in 40 countries!) head to www.kiwico.com/Veritasium50

A HUGE thanks to Rick and Neil for letting me drive Blackbird. Check out Rick's ISnets Channel for more in depth videos and explanations on going faster than the wind downwind -- ve42.co/Rick

Gene Nagata made the shoot possible. If you’re a video nerd like me, check out his channel, Potato Jet: isnets.infof... .

Xyla Foxlin for made the model cart used in this video. Xyla builds amazing things like rockets and canoes, check it out! isnets.info

Jack Goodman's ISnets video -- ve42.co/Goodman
Rick's treadmill footage -- ve42.co/Treadmill
Rick's multiple explanations of how Blackbird works -- ve42.co/DDWFTTW
Forum discussions -- ve42.co/forum Blog -- ve42.co/blog1 and retraction ve42.co/BlogRetraction

Gaunaa, M., Øye, S., \u0026 Mikkelsen, R. F. (2009). Theory and design of flow driven vehicles using rotors for energy conversion. In EWEC 2009 Proceedings online EWEC

Md. Sadak Ali Khan, Syed Ali Sufiyan, Jibu Thomas George, Md. Nizamuddin Ahmed. Analysis of Down-Wind Propeller Vehicle. International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, 3, 4. (April 2013) ISSN 2250-3153. (www.ijsrp.org)

Special thanks to Patreon supporters: Bill Linder, Paul Peijzel, Crated Comments, Anna, Mac Malkawi, Michael Schneider, Oleksii Leonov, Jim Osmun, Tyson McDowell, Ludovic Robillard, Jim buckmaster, fanime96, Juan Benet, Ruslan Khroma, Robert Blum, Richard Sundvall, Lee Redden, Vincent, Marinus Kuivenhoven, Alfred Wallace, Arjun Chakroborty, Joar Wandborg, Clayton Greenwell, Pindex, Michael Krugman, Cy 'kkm' K'Nelson, Sam Lutfi, Ron Neal

Thanks to James Lincoln for building the initial prototypes for a model blackbird.

Written by Derek Muller, James Lincoln, and Petr Lebedev
Animation by Mike Radjabov and Iván Tello
Filmed by Gene Nagata, Derek Muller, Trenton Oliver, AJ Fillo and Emily Zhang
Edited by Trenton Oliver
Music from Epidemic Sound epidemicsound.com
Additional video supplied by Getty Images
Produced by AJ Fillo

  • Veritasium

    If you want more detail on the explanation here it is: 1. The car is powered only by the wind. There is no motor or batteries of any kind. 2. The propeller does NOT spin like a windmill. The wind does NOT push it and make it turn. 3. Instead the wheels are geared to the propeller to turn it the opposite way, like a fan, so it pushes air backwards. 4. To start the vehicle the wind simply pushes on the whole vehicle (like a block of styrofoam) and gets it moving. 5. The wheels are turning so they turn the propeller in the opposite direction to how the wind is pushing it. 6. The prop is pushing air back so air pushes the prop forwards, accelerating the car. 7. Once you get up to wind speed there is no apparent wind on the vehicle. If the prop were spun like a windmill this would mean no more thrust. But, since the prop is operating like a fan, it still accelerates air backwards, generating thrust. 8. You can go faster than wind speed continuously because even when going faster than the wind, the prop can still accelerate air backwards (in the car's frame of reference) generating thrust. In a stationary frame of reference you would see that the wind behind the propellor is slower than the surrounding air. So it's clear that the energy is coming from the wind. FAQ: If power is coming from the wheels to turn the prop, why doesn't that slow down the wheels more than it gets the prop to push back? A: Because the wheels are moving over the ground much faster than the prop is moving through the air (because there's a tailwind). Example: Let's say the car is going 12m/s in a 10m/s tailwind, so faster than the wind (note the prop will be moving through an apparent headwind of 2m/s). Power = Force x Velocity Let's say the chain applies a drag force of 100N on the wheels to drive the prop. This means we're taking power from the wheels = FxV = 100N x 12m/s = 1200W If we apply this power to the fan, it can create a force of F = P/V = 1200W / 2m/s = 600N Admittedly I've assumed no losses, but even if we waste half the power, we'd still get 300N of thrust which is more than the 100N of drag the prop adds to the wheels. The key is that we're harvesting power at higher speed, lower force, and deploying it at lower speed, higher force (which is only possible because we have a tailwind - in still air this wouldn't work because the relative velocity of the wheels over the ground would be exactly the same as the relative velocity of the prop through the air).

    • Aryan Komati
      Aryan Komati

      I'm mind blown

    • Rick Cavallaro
      Rick Cavallaro

      @дмитрий иванов >> How does the structure behave in calm weather? It just sits still in no wind. Or if you prefer - it can go 3X wind speed in 0 wind. :)

    • Noguffay

      @eyytee "MIT aerodynamicist Mark Drela : "In my view, the most closely controlled and unambiguous DDWFTTW demo is the cart climbing up the tilted treadmill." in the article: "What I’ve Learned About Wind Carts" by Mark Frauenfelder" Here's what I think "could" also work, though some people would still think that there are too many potentially hidden energy imputs being applied to the vehicle. Use the treadmill apparatus, sure, but in a different way, completely level. Just to prevent the vehicle from rolling forward, at first, when a fan starts to apply wind velocity/pressure from behind (I mean there is only a limited amount of runway on a treadmill). At some point as the fan is being ramped up in output air velocity/pressure, the vehicle is going to start rolling forward. At this very precise moment, stop the fan speed increase and hold it at that point (showing the audience that the fan is no longer being ramped up). Now also at this very precise moment start the treadmill to keep the vehicle in the center, by gradually ramping up the belt backward rotation in unison with the vehicle's tendency (now that the wind is pushing it forward) to NOT roll forward. At a very precise belt velocity, we will witness that the vehicle is not continually accelerating indefinitely, that the fan is set at a very precise velocity. We will be able to measure and record the vehicle speed in relation to the belt's m/s. We will be able to measure and record the velocity of the wind in m/s and compare the two. Simple. But, again, some people will think there is hidden inputs. This is why a tunnel/pipe with nothing but a fan, a vehicle on a rail (keeping it straight and giving it the wheel to ground contact required for rotation) would/should sooth these people's suspicions.

    • Papa Legba
      Papa Legba

      @Fred Meister look up mechanical doping in cycle racing then tell me he checked properly, science-hating crackpot.

    • Joeri sol
      Joeri sol

      It still does not explain why the speed of the prop is accelerating instead of decelerating when the vehicle is slowed down.

  • Joey Crack
    Joey Crack

    This is like the inertia version of a pully system

  • Devop

    Or you can kitesurf...

  • Yurmums Vajeje
    Yurmums Vajeje

    Where was the risking your life part?

  • Sergiu Mirza
    Sergiu Mirza

    We have just witnessed history in the making!

  • Riaan De Beer
    Riaan De Beer

    I want to hear the physics professors who were wrong, admit that they were wrong. Show me that. I want to hear them say it.

  • Tim Collins
    Tim Collins

    Go faster than the wind? Every sailing boat in history of sailing can do it? What a waste of time your video is.

  • Reckless Bose
    Reckless Bose

    The giddy straw electrophoretically curl because cloakroom constitutively battle except a possessive foam. bawdy, solid motorcycle

  • MingTuck Chung
    MingTuck Chung

    Isn't this like the ram jet concept that's why they call it Black Bird? But on land this is almost like actual perpetual motion.

  • Paco Lopez
    Paco Lopez

    Derek, why is there an offset to the rear wheels axis in regards to the vehicle? It looks like the left side is wider than the right one

    • Rick Cavallaro
      Rick Cavallaro

      The propeller torque was lifting the right wheel at higher speeds, and I didn't want to end up underneath the thing. So we extended the left axle to keep it upright.

  • Boris Chan
    Boris Chan

    how the car works and how he envision the model are working on completely different mechanism though. the sail boat works by creating low pressure in front, while the car works by converting rotational energy to create 2 opposing forces (the car and the wind medium behind). I wonder if something similar can be done on water to make the sail boat go straight down the wind

  • Abinash Dhakal
    Abinash Dhakal

    Does the direction of wind flow matter?

  • Eze C
    Eze C


  • Slartibartfast

    Your explanation still makes no sense simply because an equilibrium between the wind pushing the "bluff body"(which it isn't really because it is aerodynamic) and the force thereby applied to the wheels and consequently prop, through the gearing, would equalise - what you are suggesting is essentially a form of perpetual motion. When the wheels cause the vehicle to travel faster than the wind there is no longer a wind pushing the bluff body, any advantage gained by the gearing and translation of this to the prop would soon be lost due to friction(both from the no heading towards the body and friction in the wheels and chain) as there is now no wind pushing the bluff body from behind.

  • Jonathan Young
    Jonathan Young

    Another amazing video. Thank you for what you do!!!

  • dont even worry about it
    dont even worry about it

    I don't see the danger here, is "risking my life" meant to be satirical? They said wind speeds of 15 miles an hour were unsafe, but i've crashed bikes going far faster than that. the contraption can't have been capable of going more than 20 miles an hour so what's the problem?

    • Joan Charmant
      Joan Charmant

      The problem is the massive rotating guillotine right above the pilot's head.

  • Kargoneth


  • Milez X chai
    Milez X chai

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  • adrian howard
    adrian howard

    It is not a free energy machine. It utilizes the difference between wind speed and ground speed no matter how fast the vehicle itself is moving.

  • MuzikaLov

    If the string points in the opposite direction to the direction of the vehicle's velocity, this wouldn't necessarily prove the vehicle is going faster than the wind. This could easily just mean that the wind stopped, where you continued propelling forward purely due to inertia. Also, the angle created just from the wings of the propellar alone should be a no brainer as to why it would be able to go faster than the velocity of the wind. Hasn't this question been answered in flight or submarine fluid dynamic tests in developing propellers already? Why not just visit the navy and conduct the simulation with an artificially powered wind/water source there? You could tell he makes a great Dad. Admirable quality.

  • Grean Hare
    Grean Hare

    Now that I understand how it is possible, I'm trying to wrap my head around figuring out the theoretical maximum rate of speed relative to the wind. A typical sail's maximum is of course 1x wind speed. When this machine travels at 2x wind speed, the propellers must be producing 1x wind speed. I feel like 3x wind speed is the theoretical maximum speed. The propellers would be producing 2x wind speed in lift, and any faster than that, the wind itself would be pushed back. Accounting for the friction losses, the record of 2.8x wind speed seems to support my guess.

  • Gamzat D
    Gamzat D

    А теперь по русски ребят

  • Hexstatic Loonatic
    Hexstatic Loonatic

    I wonder if this can be scaled down and deployed on personal utility vehicles to increase fuel efficiency by some significant degree when they have wind at their back, or possibly to use the same scaled down concept with a dynamo for electric vehicles

  • Tuber Root
    Tuber Root

    If you just let it run down wind without the chain, you end up rolling somewhat below wind speed. If you added a battery to power fan, OK you could go faster. Now how do you propose to extract more energy from the wheels ( which is essentially from wind drag on the structure ) and convert it to push against wind drag from in front. This sounds about as convincing a putting a dynamo on the front wheel of your bike to power an electric motor on the back. You need to explain the maths and physics properly. Your explanation is just hand waving waffle. I thought this was supposed to "settle the physics".

  • Alec Malisheski
    Alec Malisheski

    Experiments made out of spite to prove people wrong is the best kind of science

  • Sheep Man
    Sheep Man

    I NEED HELP!! ok, hear me out. Assuming everything in this video is tru and that you can go faster than wind, and knowing that light can push things (this was touched apon in Vsauses “how much does a shodow weigh” video and where I got the idea after watching this) solar sails have been made and proven to work and move with just the Suns light. (Q:) is it at all possible to go faster than the speed of light using the same principles they used to make this. I will read all comments and honestly I just want some kind off answer, wether this gets a response from Veritaium or just people who know more about it than me. To be clear I have no real experience or knowledge out side of surface level research on the internet and basic schooling.

  • Dan Cassell
    Dan Cassell

    This vehicle is obviously powered by faith and Christ. So says this physicist.

  • Tuber Root
    Tuber Root

    Not convinced by the theoretical explanation, all handwaving, no maths. The video proves nothing. The streamer does not prove what you claim since you could build up speed , then the wind drops and you still have inertia. Their alleged claims of 2.8 x it just words. No measurements, not even any claimed figures of wind speed or ground speed. If "bare minimum" is 10mph how fast were they going to be 2.8x ?? This whole presentation is totally unscientific. No maths, no measurements, just hot air. Disappointing.

  • amrit Yadav
    amrit Yadav

    Nice experiment...

  • amrit Yadav
    amrit Yadav

    That drone is dope

  • Sterling

    In my mind i have to couch this as using a bigger swath of wind than its actual profile to the wind but i dont know if thats right

  • ppacific321

    I see this spawning a whole new competition for the world record. I’m picturing huge lightweight aluminum and carbon fiber desert craft with multiple 4 bladed props. It will be interesting to see what the upper limit is

  • ppacific321

    They said that they’ve reached 2.5x the speed of the wind. Is that faster than a similarly sized and weighted sailing vessel could get downwind by tacking?

  • Damien Fieldhouse
    Damien Fieldhouse

    Next video: "Going faster than the speed of light to prove everything wrong"

  • Jalen Elle
    Jalen Elle

    The panoramic begonia extremely cough because path firstly clean aside a hulking larch. skinny, roasted handle

  • Muda

    Knock the wind out of your sail?

  • WhenThoughtsConnect

    theres a thing called apparent wind, an airplane takes off faster with a headwind than a tail wind. and if its faster than more force was created

  • friendy bendy
    friendy bendy

    My 6 IQ brain has now turned to 12 IQ brain (im under 13 yet I understand, im proud of my self :D )

  • fulano

    By the way, companies are building cargo ships that use wind sails to save fuel and lower carbon emissions. This physical debate, this video, can help these ships to save even more energy, reduce carbon emissions even more and, on top of that, help the planet. Or even bring around fully wind-powered ships. No scientific debate is pointless

  • Euan Greenlees
    Euan Greenlees

    No one Scottish clearly looked at this hahahahah says joby (jobby) on the side😂😂

  • T xe
    T xe

    I think this is "equivalent" to the fact, that you can shoot rubber band faster forward than you move your fingers while shooting it. And in the fact that if you roll a 100kg weight ball a speed 1m/s to collade with 10 gram ball, the little ball gets faster speed than 1m/s. Same way large volume of 10m/s moving air, can at least in theory accelerate some "little particle" to the speed up to the speed of light.

  • Charles Brainard
    Charles Brainard

    What if... ...it went "against" the wind. Some gear reduction and variable speed pulleys in addition to variable-pitch vanes would equal greater wind speed as it accelerates, or..... something like one of the newer style vertical wind turbine used in power generation? Or horizontally mounted on a pivot to increase lateral stability. If that worked it would be omni-directional. It would be the opposite of what the vehicle in the video does (wind turning the wheels instead of wheels turning the fan), but...

  • Abel Sampaio
    Abel Sampaio

    There we have it. Not flat earth, not round earth, the definitive earth shape is the cylinder.

  • John B
    John B

    "risking my life" heheheheheheh

  • Jérémy Quentin
    Jérémy Quentin

    Isn't it like using the inertia on top of the wind energy? Even without the propeller, if the wind suddenly stops, the vehicle will keep going for a little while, that means it does have more energy than just the wind's. So the propeller is just using that same energy beforehand?

  • Arnel Grande
    Arnel Grande

    This was cool! Got to you guys credit for this one.

  • aeyuio

    How long can it keep the speed up? Or is it just momentarily using acquired kinetic energy to drive the prop? Will it slow down after a few minutes? Because you could make a wind-powered machine that would accelarate itself to wind speed AND at the same time store energy from the wind in some flywheel etc, and after getting up to wind speed, just use the flywheel energy to spin a prop to momentarily go faster than the wind.

  • Curly Hart
    Curly Hart

    Bloody awesome! Can you make it work for boats?

  • SeriousDiman

    I definitely wouldn't believe - if it was not on camera.

  • PortCharmers

    Would it be fair to argue that with the propeller you have a sufficiently large part of the car "moving backwards", that the wind can still push even of the rest of the car is moving faster than the wind? I know that the propeller isn't actually "moving backwards", hence " ".

  • shng sam
    shng sam

    my brain is still in tangle

  • Sitaram Dash
    Sitaram Dash

    Hey hello, Thank you all so much for the explanation and knowledge. I have a request, could you please make a video on gravity,, i want clearly perceive what gravity is and whether it is a wave or signal, and if so can we have control over it. Thank you.

  • Bode Lords
    Bode Lords

    anyone else thought the thumbnail was from kerbal space program?

  • Nors2Ka

    This should have been a 5 minute video, you time wasting degenerate.

    • Jim's videos
      Jim's videos

      My compliments for the style, never mind the point.

  • katzda

    Now create a few levers to be able to dynamically adjust a sail to propel the vehicle with different strengths and to switch gears that determine how fast the propeller is spun from the wheels.

  • MotoringBox

    If the propellor is acting like a fan sucking air from the front and pushing it back... how do we know it isn't pulling the telltale backwards also? You could be going slower than the wind, but the prop is pulling air over the vehicle faster than the surrounding air. To me you'd have to put the telltale far out to the side away from the prop's intake zone to say conclusively you're going faster than the wind. I'm not an expert by any means but that's how it seems to me.

  • Eastwood Mac
    Eastwood Mac

    with no prior knowledge of physics i knew that it was possible lol.

  • Jaume

    I think that in the conclusion is more like that there are 2 forces. 1 the push of the wind. 2 the coanda effect induced by the movement of the blades (and this is the "more power" in the forward movement). In sailing the wind push but pull too, when the wind comes from the "side"

  • Utkarsh

    *Me* a 17 yr old guy:Trying to predict ,what is going on with that propeller car,(there is nothing to do with physics laws, At least they aren't violating,and if then plz reply me) Whole comment section :baa baaha baah baaah baah(exposing their internal proffesor) Sorry if this found you attacking..(*To The Top Commenters*)

  • Amandine Levecq
    Amandine Levecq

    The question is... How does the craft even reaches the speed of the wind, if it does slow down the wind that is behind him? With your example at the end of the video, how does the craft passes the 8 km/h?

  • Christiaan Venter
    Christiaan Venter

    I'm reminded of the Mythbusters 'airplane on a treadmil' mechanics, where the falacy was that wheel speed is the same as air speed. If you treat them as seperate, the theory works (as proven on the show)

  • DonTaskDontAsk

    Conservation of momentum is a key part of the explanation, equal in importance to conservation of energy. There are elastic collisions between the air molecules and the back surface of the fan blades. The net effect is transfer of kinetic energy and forward momentum from the air to the vehicle. The wheels are not providing power for thrust... they are just providing enough power to make the blades to spin fast enough to get more collisions on the back side of the blade than the front so the net momentum transfer is forward. This machine is brilliant!

    • DonTaskDontAsk

      @PL2 what is?

    • PL2

  • OsoTanuki

    what? what was the point of the sailboat explanation if that's not what's driving it and instead the wheel are pushing the propeller *against* the wind?

    • Joan Charmant
      Joan Charmant

      The wheels are turning the propeller, but then the blades on the propeller acts exactly as the sailboats sails in the explanation, generating "lift" forward.

  • YourBroSoham

    I want to make a claim "All the physical object which have mass (mass not equal to zero) is always in motion." Is it correct?

    • granand

      what is the mass equal to zero?

  • István Szikra
    István Szikra

    Well, it wasn't uploaded at April first, and it's on the Veritasium channel, so I believe that this works, but still do not understand it fully. I need a more detailed explanation than "I think this is how it kinda works". Like something with not just arrows but actual equations. "In a stationary frame of reference you would see that the wind behind the propellor is slower than the surrounding air." Well... in a reference frame moving with the car the fan is accelerating the air behind it making it faster than the air surrounding it (both of which are moving toward the back of the car when the vehicle is moving faster than the wind, or when the car is traveling at wind speed then only the air it pushes is accelerated to a non zero speed, which is what normal fans do. And none of my computer fans generate energy for me by accelerating - or decelerating depending on the frame of reference - air... So I do NOT think "it's clear" at all "that the energy is coming from the wind." So please explain how the two frame of reference is not equivalent, and why the stationary is the real frame of reference. In the moving frame of reference the ground is moving below the car, which turns the wheels, so "clearly" the energy is coming from the ground ; ) )

    • István Szikra
      István Szikra

      I was not able to reply in Veritasium's comment thread because I got "We weren't able to add your reply. Please try again." I did 25 times, tried refreshing the page, replying to different replies... F YT!

    • István Szikra
      István Szikra

      at Eagleizer There is wind blowing above the ground... You know that wind can generate power, right? (733 GW at the end of 2020) So there is "free" power and therefore "free energy" - clearly it's not really free, but with the energy that the wind generates you can power the Large Hadron Collider and particles do reach near light speed. It can also power electric cars that travel well above the wind speed that generated the energy they require to accelerate.

  • Marlon Cornejo
    Marlon Cornejo

    sound is usually accompanied from a strong force. if gravity has that same implication than the force that has created gravity would be from the result of the sound of the big bang. but is sound relevant in space? and how does its nature react in a vacuum? Is a vaccum a force in itself--literally? and if there was a machine that can overcome the extreme conditions of space would there be sound? how far can sound travel in space?

  • PfropfNo1

    According to the reasoning in 8:08 it should be possible to make a care that goes straight against the wind. Because sail bots can zig zag against the wind. They could go a straight line around the cylinder against the wind. Now add 2 more boats and you got a propeller that moves against the wind. Has anyone made it yet?

  • M. Volgrand
    M. Volgrand

    I still cannot understand how it works. But man, amazing concept

  • keeskuipers1

    Wind pulls a boat

  • César S.Semp.
    César S.Semp.

    I sincerely cannot see why it is counter-intuitive, the wind is injecting energy into the system, so it can attain a great speed regardless of the wind speed. The design extracts energy from the wind. So what? Even sail ships accelerate against the wind, which is far more counter-intuitive and this has been known for millenia.

    • John Borton
      John Borton

      You are correct -- this principle has been on display since the very first ship sailed upwind.

  • n z
    n z

    So instead of sails, we should have sea propeller powering wind propeller on a boat? Then you wouldn't have to zig zag, just go straight. . .

  • Mark Postlethwaite
    Mark Postlethwaite

    Why didn’t you try it pointing towards the wind? Same thing

  • huey ho
    huey ho

    The discreet cardigan amazingly multiply because dentist densply enjoy sans a spotty james. steady, expensive border

  • Electron Resonator
    Electron Resonator

    not only in internet, just ask your physics teachers or physics professors about this problem, and say that the vehicle can move faster, and then simply wait as they begin to ridicule you as the dumbest person ever existed, ... after that, all you have to do simply show them this video....it;s crazy to think that education system full of those people, who rather corner you and label you as failure, than actually try to figure it out together

  • petithobbitjoufflu

    My lessons of physics were long time ago but from what I understand there is two distinct phases: 1. When the car going slower than the wind, as explained by Derek, the wheels are turning the propeller the opposite way of the wind, pushing air backward and the vehicle forward. 2. The second phase is easy to apprehend when the car is going at the same speed or faster than the wind; relative to the vehicle, the air in front of the vehicle is going backward (as shown by the string attached in front of the vehicle) therefore making the propeller turn as if the wind was in the opposite direction. At this moment, the prop is getting energy from the air in front like a windmill helping the wheels to rotate. In other words, there is two things powering the prop, the wheels AND the air in front relative to the car speed. I'm probably completely wrong, but I would love to have someone's opinion on this

    • John Borton
      John Borton

      The wheels always power the prop. The prop never powers the wheels (ever). This isn't just 'someone's opinion' -- I'm the guy who designed and built the drivetrain of the Blackbird.

  • Slappy D
    Slappy D

    Now exceeding light speed....... GO!

  • Bike 416
    Bike 416

    someone doesnt know how a sailboat works lol (animation is wrong)

    • Papa Legba
      Papa Legba

      @Rick Cavallaro

    • Rick Cavallaro
      Rick Cavallaro

      Animation is right.

  • FatPinarelloRider

    Well I'll be darned.

  • Jado

    What we might see could just be a kind of system latency. The propeller continues to turn even when the wind blows less. This pushes the car forward for some time longer and for some time it is actually faster than the wind. So you can imagine this set-up to work like a spring, storing some of the energy from the wind. I doubt that you can continuously run faster than the wind in this set-up when you have a wind that is blowing at a constant speed.

  • Sakonema

    Meh... Put a flat party streamer behind a fan and which way do you think it will point. Of course the fan sucks it towards it. Also magnets.

    • viral_maths

      How high are you.

  • oruc haslaman
    oruc haslaman

    Why are you taking it interms of the speed of in one way, the speed of the vehicle and the speed of the wind. you should take it interms of the all energy playing a role on all vehicle's surfaces and the propeller obviously. So Some of the momentum of the up wind is used to push the propeller; so total speed is = to; down wind + the vacuum created by the up wind and this ofcourse will be bigger than the down wind. There is no magic in this.)))) Good Day.

  • Lennardo Da Vinci
    Lennardo Da Vinci

    This reminds me of autorotation on a Helikopter

  • Mike Walker
    Mike Walker

    It would take kinetic energy to push the air back faster than what the air is actually traveling. You may exceed the speed of air with this vehicle but not indefinitely... the kinetic energy is probably stored in the weight of the vehicle? After exceeding the speed of the wind, you're speed would decrease over time... much like many 'perpetual' energy designs that last a long time. It would become a pendulum effect, where your top speed is slightly lesser and your minimum speed is slightly faster until your speed is equivalent to the wind speed. (assuming the wind speed is constant)

    • Joan Charmant
      Joan Charmant

      This should be easily testable on an inclined treadmill. It should be able to maintain treadmill speed while going upwards for an indefinite amount of time.

    • eyytee

      " After exceeding the speed of the wind, you're speed would decrease over time" No, it stays above windpeed in steady state, as long there is true wind relative to the ground. Google "NALSA downwind record" and read their rules.

  • tazz1669

    Great explaination of how it works, that's how progress is made, one guy has an idea, everyone goes now no way, guy goes out makes a prototype and proves it, everyone goes ah that's what you meant of course it's possible.

  • Basil Harrison
    Basil Harrison

    Okay. Someone explain to me why we can’t do the same thing with light? If we put a ‘light fan’ on the back of some vehicle and it gets pushed up to light speed, why wouldn’t it go faster than light?

    • Rick Cavallaro
      Rick Cavallaro

      The big problem is that your vehicle would literally become infinitely massive when it reached light speed. So it can never reach light speed. :(

  • Rick Keller
    Rick Keller

    Anyone who has windsurfed - and likely raced small sailing dinghies, knows the truth of this. For us, it is not counterintuitive at all and I would often turn straight down wind, to slow down. If you placed that cart onto a graph of motion vs time, you would see that the blades actually cut across the wind, in a zig zag. Unless the rotational axis were to be frozen, it would be impossible for the blades to move directly downwind. You'd have to have some funky horizontal tornado, Godzilla exhaling a bong hit, so "theoretically possible." Therefore, moving across the wind, the blades create lift, which creates a vacuum in the low pressure area ahead of the blade, which draws the object forward, thus fulfilling the designers illustration of a cylinder Earth. The idea of impacting molecules and transferring kinetic energy, is missing the point. It is effective, but one misses a key component of the magic. Ok, any lifting body will do this, a sail, a turbine blade, your hand out the car window. Test it, but ask mom first! What happens, is; as the blade turns across the wind, the moving air - the molecules - is forced rapidly across the upwind side of the blade, your palm, except the air on the downwind side most travel further, around the back of your hand, _so it must speed up,_ due to the fact that air is fairly viscous. Like when you try to breathe really fast and there is friction. So this viscosity induced vacuum, is what draws the object forward. It is what keeps airplanes flying and wind driven turbine carts rolling downwind faster than the wind. You can Google it.

    • Joan Charmant
      Joan Charmant

      ​@Rick Keller I think you misread my comment. I know the propeller is generating lift and I'm not trying to disprove anything. You wrote "the air on the downwind side **must travel further**, around the back of your hand, so it **must speed up**". The air does speed up but not because it "must travel further" this implies that the two air streams must meet back on the other side of the wing, which is false. It has nothing to do with travel distance. Planes can fly indefinitely while upside down as long as they have the correct angle of attack (and powered, obviously, just like right side up), it's just less efficient. To be clear, an upside down wing still generates upward lift as long as it has the correct angle of attack with regards to the air flow.

    • Rick Keller
      Rick Keller

      @Joan Charmant You do realize that "lift" can invert? That planes "flying" upside down are actually "falling" and that they can not hold their inverted position indefinitely? You already know these two facts, yet you use the example of inverted flight, to disprove the existence of lift? I am no aeronautical engineer, but I worked for one for 5 years, BUILDING SAILS. I KNOW the truth of lift and EXACTLY how it works. I'm not some "inventor," or some ISnets personality, trying to learn about lift. Google "lift," study the dissertations, then tell us exactly how a cart with rotating blades is not inducing lift. Then make a statement about yourself arguing ISnets comments, not from a position of knowledge and science, but from a position of close minded "common" sense.

    • Joan Charmant
      Joan Charmant

      It's obviously counter intuitive to many sailors based on the amount of backlash the idea got. You mention turbines and putting your hand out of the car, but they are the opposite of this. This vehicle is going faster than the wind that is pushing it *from behind*. Your explanation of how lift works with the air that "must travel further" and meet on the other side of the blade is a common misconception, air doesn't "have to" speed up, it's the change of direction that creates the lift. Consider that planes can fly upside down.

  • Ryan Burgess
    Ryan Burgess

    Loved this video. Never let your schooling get in the way of your education.

    • Rick Cavallaro
      Rick Cavallaro

      The tragic thing is that schooling is not the problem at all. The problem is when people either let their intuition take precedence over experimental evidence and analysis, or they remember something rock solid (like you can't get something for nothing) and forget the constraints to such statements (like "in a closed system").

  • Big Man Vlogs
    Big Man Vlogs

    I have a very abstract mind, and that makes me see the world more abstract than most people. I have a love of anything scientific, but mostly chemistry and physics alongside theoretical physics. Based on your description I see no issues of the laws of physics being broken. I very much believe that the people who see that and think the laws of physics are being broken should actually look under the hood before they try to make assumptions.

  • Machinshin

    So, is it correct that the same way a sail boat can go faster than the wind, the prop does the same thing thus pushing faster than the wind ?

    • Rick Cavallaro
      Rick Cavallaro

      Yes, it's directly analogous.

  • Steve Ngu
    Steve Ngu

    Gene could fly the house better in the movie Up than here. Jokes aside he id a really great flyer.

  • Chow C
    Chow C

    Any invention that SEEMS unreal is always disagree by everyone before its release.

    • viral_maths

      I mean that's a good thing because it means we are not gullible

  • ME First
    ME First


    • viral_maths

      "I saw a video of a man sitting in a machine that I did not understand so now everything is possible"

  • ME First
    ME First


  • ME First
    ME First


  • 02 PH
    02 PH

    Awesome machine that powers the wheels with a windmill. ...but sad....this video is about misdirection, hyperbole, using idioms to make false claims. the people that made the machine are getting used by Veritasium. He probably made more money from the advertising revenue of this click-bait video than it cost to make that non-sailboat machine that powers the wheels with a windmill.

    • eyytee

      "powers the wheels with a windmill" Definitely not via the transmission, which doesn't even allow this (ratchet).

  • ME First
    ME First


  • Michael Bieber
    Michael Bieber

    I'm struggling with the notion of sail boats going faster than the wind. But I do know how bicycles can go faster because of a derailleur or transmission. 1:05 - 1:12 was all I needed to see. If I'm right that the derailleur plays a part, the wheels driving the impeller/propeller/fan can easily spin it faster and faster as it picks up speed. This is why I think ~10 mph seems to be a sweet spot. The inertia of the mass of the vehicle at that velocity, at a high gear ratio, could drive the fan to produce air speeds faster than the wind speed.

    • Rick Cavallaro
      Rick Cavallaro

      >> If I'm right that the derailleur plays a part... We don't actually have a derailleur. We just have a sprocket cluster on the axle, and we can manually select which gear to use prior to a run. In general, we never change that.

  • 乄二函日

    nice video

  • Dan

    Driving a wind powered blender. It sounds very safe.

  • Dave Gerr
    Dave Gerr

    This is very, very cool, but not as unusual as it appears. Ice boats routinely sail faster than the wind, obtaining speeds of 100 mph or more. The same thing is accomplished in sailing-tricycle craft on dry lake beds. Multihull sailboats go faster than the wind as do hydrofoil sailboats. The fastest speed record for a foiling sailboat is 78.26 mph. This was not in 78-mph winds. The question then asked is how it’s possible? It is not getting something from nothing or a form of perpetual motion. Wind is a basically a particular manifestation of solar energy. All the above wind-driven vehicles use mechanisms to convert the surrounding wind energy into the forward motion of the vehicle. The governing factor is not the wind speed or direction, but the surrounding wind energy. The vehicle’s speed is limited by the amount of available energy in the wind independent of apparent wind direction. The various mechanisms so far used to convert the wind energy into forward motion are; however, limited by the apparent wind direction. The true genius of this invention, is creating a new mechanism that captures this energy at the one apparent wind angle that other mechanisms were unable to function at-dead downwind. Wonderful!! Brilliant!!!

    • Rick Cavallaro
      Rick Cavallaro

      >> Ice boats routinely sail faster than the wind, obtaining speeds of 100 mph or more. Interestingly, ice boats USED TO routinely sail at 100 mph or more - until the invention of GPS. There are some very bold claims from the pre-GPS days, but I don't believe any ice boat measured with GPS has reached 100 mph.