Go Fly a Kite!

Timlynn Babitsky | Spaceship Earth,Thinking Forward,Wind Innovations | Sunday, February 10th, 2008

by Timlynn Babitsky
KiteShip Corporation founders Dave Culp, and Dean Jordan plan to build kites as large as a football field to power cargo ships and oil tankers. Unlike traditional sails which require masts and specialized rigging, the kite could be easily attached to an existing ship and moved from one vessel to another in a commercial fleet. Using a KiteShip kite along with traditional engine power, could provide fuel savings of between 15-30 percent.

KiteShip Corporation builds wind systems to power boats, transcontinental shipping vessels, pleasure and racing yachts and industrial and aerospace applications. Its forward thinking sailors, designers and visionaries are developing and marketing what they call Very Large Free Flying Sails (VLFFS) and the control systems, technology and techniques for launching, controlling and recovering wind aboard small and large commercial vessels.

To actually see how a kite sail works on a large commercial vessel, take a look at the January 17, 2008, National Geographic News video of a German-built ship using the VLFFS technology.  The wind power system used on this ship was built by Hamburg’s SkySails.

“Not a sailboat and not a parachute—this German-built ship aims to save fuel by towing a kite to capture wind power high above the water.” Check out the video on line here.

Keep an eye on this technology. It definitely has promise and gives new meaning to say – go “fly a kite!”

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