Preventing Runaway Kite Tether-dragging without Weak Link or Tether-Cutter

Perhaps the most dangerous AWES failure mode is a runaway kite dragging a long tether over a sustained distance. HG/PG aerotow and winchtow practice provides a weak-link at the wing, but this itself can cause a lost kite, and may not release the tether at all if a break occurs below. An active tether-cutter/kite-killer has is own set of trade-offs in added complexity and mass.

Another way to reduce risk of tether dragging is tether that runs to the kite and then doubles back thru a ring, to a double-spool on the winch, will retain the tether by its anchor point. Not a perfect solution, but an added design option, related in properties to other multiline architectures, as a quasi-single-line single-anchor design space.

Note that Kite-Killers is a closely-related design subject; for example to bring down a runaway wing ballasted by its control-pod mass, that might otherwise soar away. Lots of Old Forum discussion along these lines.