The Malolo project was started in 2015, and is initially focused on building a human-powered foiling craft, using a tuned flapping foil for propulsion.
Flapping foil propulsion, which we are calling the Lighthill Drive, has the potential to be more efficient than a propeller, and delivers a higher thrust coefficient over a greater range of speeds than a propeller can.
The current design sits the rider in recumbent cycling position.
We are currently on our third prototype and are planning to refine the craft over the rest of the year, with a view to starting speed trials in 2018.
Market and use cases
The Malolo craft is designed as a proof point for flapping foil propulsion. There are numerous further applications for this technology, from small outboard motors, to efficient systems for moving fluid to marine propulsion.
The drive system can also be reversed, and used for power generation, and we have a design in process for this.
Higher thrust coefficient, over a wider range of speeds
Does not become tangled
Moves more slowly than a propeller, so less marine damage