Be A Trim Tab – Affect the World

By Bob Evans, Director of Development

PLAYBOY: "Isn’t it part of that packaging a sense of the individual’s impotence to affect events, to improve or even influence our own welfare, let alone that of society?

Happy New Year! It is going to be great!

The Captain of an ocean going vessel to which we installed a marine version of GasPods clued me in that preliminary results show a reduction in fuel consumption. Given that GasPods reduce drag when placed on most cars, it should follow that a variation can be made to work as well in reverse – underwater.

Without GasPods - Note the rooster tail - that is drag!

With an array of GasPods on trim tab and hull. Note how smooth the wake.

Computational Fluid Analysis (CFD) showing a similar effect, resulting in a 6.7% reduction in drag when placed on rear roof and side of an automobile

This exchange prompted me to begin the day, and year, with a Google search for images of “boat trim tabs.” Scanning through the hundreds of relevant images, there appeared a tombstone. Don’t be dismayed. This is anything but a bad omen. I clicked through and to my delight appeared a photograph of the graves of the visionary inventor Buckminster Fuller, and his wife, Anne Hewlett. Inscribed prominently above their heads are the words: “CALL ME TRIM TAB, Bucky.”

My curiosity peaked and motivated my continuing search until I came upon the following quote by Buckminster Fuller from a February, 1972, interview in “Playboy Magazine”:

“PLAYBOY: "Isn’t it part of that packaging a sense of the individual’s impotence to affect events, to improve or even influence our own welfare, let alone that of society?

FULLER: "Something hit me very hard once, thinking about what one little man could do. Think of the Queen Elizabeth again: The whole ship goes by and then comes the rudder. And there’s a tiny thing on the edge of the rudder called a trim tab. It’s a miniature rudder. Just moving that little trim tab builds a low pressure that pulls the rudder around. It takes almost no effort at all. So I said that the individual can be a trim tab. Society thinks it’s going right by you, that it’s left you altogether. "

"But if you’re doing dynamic things mentally, the fact is that you can just put your foot out like that and the whole ship of state is going to turn around. So I said, ‘Call me Trim Tab.’”

GasPods are small. Installing them on your vehicle takes no effort at all. GasPods affect the aerodynamic characteristics of your vehicle in a positively significant manner. And, the potential cumulative effect of all of us getting together in an activity seemingly as easy as placing GasPods on your vehicle is atmospheric.

19.4 lbs of CO2 are released with every gallon of gas burned. 97 gallons of water are rendered permanently polluted.

If 40,000,000 individuals – that is only 2% of the close to 2 billion vehicles on the road today – join in reducing their vehicle’s gas consumption by 5%, by any method or means it is estimated to prevent 11 megatons of CO2 per year from entering the atmosphere and save more than 118 billion gallons of water from permanent pollution by oil processing.

That is more of an impact on preserving our Earth than any one program of industry or government in effect today.

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