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Fastest Swimsuit

March 27, 2008

NASA, Speedo, and other engineers team up to beat last year’s superfast swimsuit.


Super-streamlined swimsuits. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

A team of scientists has developed what may be the world’s fastest swimsuit. Mechanical engineer Herve Morvan of the University of Nottingham in England worked on the suit, which is made by Speedo. His team analyzed body scans of over 400 top swimmers to find the body parts that generate the most drag. Using precision body compression and low friction material, the new suit creates five percent less drag overall than last year’s model. That may not sound like much.

HERVE MORVAN (University of Nottingham, England):
But at this level of competition, any small improvement is absolutely vital, and if you watch Olympic swim racing, it is very difficult for the observer to determine who has won until a formal announcement is made.

Last year’s suit was worn in 21 world record breaking swims; the Beijing Olympics will help give this suit a chance to do even better. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the science society.