Large Diameter DS Looping vs. Small Diameter Looping

There is a classic engineering tradeoff in AWES R&D; the design choice to fly large fast loops with a rigid kite plane and low pattern solidity (non-dimensional swept-area) vs. smaller loops with bigger softer wings flying slower (high pattern solidity).

The fast large loop crosses more wind gradient for more DS boost, but is more prone to crashing during the low fast bottom of the loop, and needs more airspace. Most of the frontal airspace goes unharvested. Tether drag is more of a problem, and a thinner tether is risky.

The slow loop of a larger softer wing does not reach spectacular DS velocities, but offers more “truck-like” performance, with more frontal airspace harvested, closer unit spacing, and less issues with crashing and tether safety margins.

The world’s AWES developers are working across the spectrum of looping geometries. This topic is to discuss the pros and cons of various looping design options, for various needs.