I think this design looks very new and interesting. I am reading from the pictures that they will cover the wing in foil to save weight. I am curious then to how they will attach the foil to the frame. Also with which tension.
And finally, what is the mass per area in the end…
Nice progress. I am often doing this with my fishing rod and a single line kite. It is very easy when there is no wind at all, and it can even be quite artistic but it gets more complex with a bit more wind, when you have to transition from circling to some figure of eight (still powering the kite). But knowing they can already fly 8, I am sure they will manage to do this soon. I am a bit more afraid by the scale difference of the kite compared to the initial design https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eJO2gOs96Y. For sure, it is easier to test first with a smaller kite, without changing the truck, but it would be interesting to test with a shorter arm, to get the sizing/scaling issues.
Maybe they just figured out a longer mast is necessary
Saw this article today showing a mast with tether (for an aerostat).
Notice the sloping mast. Does the whole mast rotate when the wind changes direction?
I see two long actuators to tilt that mast. Seems like it would have to rotate at some point to accommodate shifting winds. Hard to say from the angle of that picture, but if you look carefully, there is one powerline before the blimp, and another powerline on the other side, so it must have more clearance on each side than it looks like, but hard to say. From the windsocks there is a decent wind blowing in that picture. But even a dust devil will quickly change the wind direction when you least need it!
I think the guiding principle of these kinds of systems [of which I consider The Pyramid to be also] is that the flying speed must be somewhat greater than the speed of wind you expect to find on the ground. And also that in case of a dust devil, the kite must be able to push through based on mass and inertia. But if course, if the world provides enough resistance, this will not work. Maybe its not suitable for any location. But I think it would be suitable for a lot of locations, if it was done right.
I would also like to add that «done right» could mean that you need some ideas from The Pyramid, namely three or more kites, and a bridle connecting them directly.
Also The Pyramid can launch the kites outward along the shaft for the same reason (three kites and the bridle), while Enerkite needs a bigger radius that would need to launch vertically or have a tall tower. This would be exceedingly difficult in high winds.
I didnt mean this to be a rant about The Pyramid, but here we are
We had a hang glider pilot, Larry Heidler who launched at 1:29 PM on June 29 (highest thermic activity) a few years ago. Larry’s flight lasted about 4 seconds. He was seen by onlookers to do a quick U-turn and smacked into a big tree trunk where normally people would sometimes tie off to at the launch. The launch is a mile high - what a view - there are dust devils constantly forming at the landing zone below, and they climb up the hill. Larry had a low-performance glider which is more easily blown about like a leaf, but I don’t know if a faster glider could have saved him. There is now a memorial bench with Larry;s name on it and also a girl who got drunk on her birthday and crashed a paraglider while doing stunts and was on the phone with authorities after crashing but it took too long to find her. Anyway, that’s a lot of extra info but the point is a dust devil, if it hits right, can be very destructive. We have thermals (associated with dust devils) come through here every day and you can see the windmill switch direction.
Looks really cool. Can’t wait to see it in action.
I immediately start thinking how they solve steering with a rigid wing, in particular considering that tension can vary a lot…
Wish them best of luck anyways!