Our first wing sail:

Oceanbird Wing 560

The first wing sail from Oceanbird is named after its size: 560 square meters. It can be installed on existing and newbuilt vessels, as main propulsion or wind-assist to support the engine.

The main energy force comes from wind, but the wing has more in common with airplane wings than traditional sails. Therefore, aerodynamics are important in developing the concept. The wing consists of a main sail and a flap, optimizing the aerodynamics forces. When entering harbors, passing under bridges or if the surface area needs to be reduced due to strong winds, the smaller segment folds into the other before the whole wing sail is tilted.

Short facts

Height: 40 meters (131 feet)
Width: 14 meters (46 feet)
Total sail area: 560 m2 (6028 f2)
Two segments: Consists of a main sail and a flap, optimizing the aerodynamic forces by creating camber
Materials: High strength steel, glass fiber and recycled PET
Safety philosophy: Always tiltable, even in strong winds and during black-outs
Actuation: Variable hydraulic drive
Energy consumption: Low (passive system)
Performance: One wing sail on an existing RoRo vessel at normal speed, can reduce fuel consumption from main engine with 7-10 % on favorable oceangoing routes. This means a saving of 600 tons/675,000 liters of diesel per year, which corresponds to approx. 1920 tons of CO2
Developed by: Oceanbird – a joint venture between Alfa Laval and Wallenius, founded in December 2021


There are a lot of advantages in considering wing sails already in the design phase. To design a new vessel to be wind-ready is often a quite small procedure, and then the decision to go for wing sails can be taken later on.

Oceanbird Wing 560 can installed as a full set to have a fully sailing vessel where the main part of the propulsion comes from the wind, or one or two wing sails to complement the main engine and then have a wind-assisted vessel. The wing sail doesn’t care which engine that drive that drives the vessel forward. It could complement conventional as well as new fuels, which enables smaller fuel tanks and less dependent on a big global supply.


To achieve a shipping revolution, we need to address the 60,000 commercial vessels on sea today. Reducing a lot of a emissions from a few, and even more from a lot. Our first focus is car-carrying vessels but we are also looking into other segments.

Retrofitting an existing vessel is one way to pro-long the life-time of vessel with conventional fuel that need to comply with new legislation. The wing sail could be removed and installed on another vessel. Most existing vessels need hull strengthening measures which could be carried out during docking, and of course comprehensive stability calculations.

What happens now?

We will do the first retrofit installation on the Wallenius Wilhelmsen vessel Tirranna in 2024. Tirranna will be get hull strengthening and a wing foundation installed during her planned docking in May. The wing sail will be installed onboard later that year, or beginning of 2025.

Meanwhile, another full-scale prototype is being installed at the Swedish shipyard Oresund DryDocks in Landskrona. Testing will start taking place during fall, and the site will also work as a training center for crews on wind-powered vessels.

The EU project Orcelle Horizon are supporting both the two prototypes and the building of Orcelle Wind, the first vessel from the Oceanbird concept. Wallenius Wilhelmsen and 10 project partners, among them Oceanbird, have secured a Horizon Europe funding totaling EUR 9m.

This project has received funding from European Union’s Horizon Europe Framework program under grant no 101096673.

Wing on existing vessel

How a bird´s wing can move a vessel

Do you consider wind propulsion?

There will not be one silver bullet for the green transition of the maritime industry. The beauty of wind propulsion is that it can be combined with other alternative fuels, which allows you to spread your eggs in different baskets. Wind is a free and constant energy source, and requires no additional infrastructure.

If you want to find out if wind propulsion is suitable for your vessels, either on newbuildings or retrofits, as main propulsion or wind assist to the engine – don’t hesitate to reach out!


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