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PROPELLER POWER Can a wind-powered vehicle travel faster than the wind propelling it? MAKE built one to find out.

Photography by Charles Platt

The Little Cart That Couldn’t

Wind-powered vehicle claims look like hot air.

By Charles Platt

Can a wind-driven vehicle outrun a tailwind? A Florida tinkerer named Jack Goodman claims it can, and he put a video on YouTube to prove it. Some sailing enthusiasts became convinced that he was on to something, while others were equally sure it was a hoax — and I decided to put it to the test.

HOW BOATS WORK

First, we need a quick primer on seafaring aerodynamics. The oldest boats had rectangular sails that were ...

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