Odysseus project may instruct some energy kite systems

# Presenting Odysseus, the solar-powered, autonomous aircraft

“Odysseus’ first flight is scheduled for the Spring of 2019”

I believe such designs are not easily converted to AWE for two reasons: Tether drag will slow it down, and; If flying with very high wing load, it needs a bridle or other structure in oder to not bend.

The theoretic AWE challenges Joe often poses are fun and fertile.

In this case the closest energy kite solution is for such a solar plane to divide into tethered flying halves when wind shear energy is needed and available. For example, one of the halves could dip down from the calm Stratosphere into a raging global Jet Stream, allowing powerful sustained flight of the whole rig when the sun is unavailable. When wind shear is unavailable or unneeded, the reunited plane halves can operate in pure solar mode.

All such aircraft already soar on wind currents as a major part of their flight energy. Even common aircraft typically derive around 5% fuel savings by AWE.

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Further modes possible include:

  • two solar planes that can reel out a tether between them, as needed.

  • a solar plane that can drop an anchor to the surface when forced low, to sustain itself flying in kite mode.

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