This film is part of Free

Walker's Planesailing

Revolutionary Sail inspired by Plane

News 1968 5 mins

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Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


Westward TV’s Del Cooper interviews ‘Wingsail’ or ‘Planesail’ designer John Walker. John started his career as a designer of cars and planes but following a yachting accident turned his attention to designing a new and improved sail. His first prototype was the planesail which soon developed into the wingsail, a revolutionary idea for the yachting community.

The wingsail is a variable-camber aerodynamic structure similar to that of an aeroplane wing, and is more rigid in structure than conventional sails. The Walker Wingsail Company started in 1982, but came under attack from an article printed by the IPC magazine group in February 1993. The company was awarded £1.5 million by the courts. In this film, one of the first prototypes is demonstrated.