Skysails System Successfully Evaluated According to Aviation Law


Good new. SkySails concentrates a lot of hopes. A recent hope has been the confirmation of genuinely durable soft wings. And this news constitutes a second hope for the integration of AWES in the airspace.

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Looking like progress
Always been interested by their mast retrieval and launch line setup. Seems to work…
Also on the website
Be­cause of its new technology concept, its installation is minimally-invasive (no piling work ne­ces­sary). Further­more, a and simple low-cost dis­mant­ling is guaran­teed.
Does that mean the shipping container isn’t going to be pulled by the kite?

Nice closeups of the system start and recovery on TV news last night

90% less material than what exactly?
Doubling the amount of power produced compared to what exactly?
These sorts of “statistics” so often overlap, as in “stronger than steel and a third of the weight!”, where the steel is actually stronger the whole time, while the press-release-science combines being stronger for the weight, and being lighter, as though both can take place simultaneously, whereas really they are two ways of saying the same thing…
Nice to see a kite take off and be retrieved after a decade, but honestly it does not look to me like there is an efficient power-generation taking place. Oh well, maybe it is a start. Otherwise I feel compelled to ask the same question I periodically find myself asking every few years: “So, how is kite-reeling working out these days?”

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How long does it last?

After seing a windsock after just one year out in the elements from a local paraglider club i got a new perspective on how much wind fluttering tears fabric apart. The windsock was half the original length after one year, and that is how they always end up when they replace them every year.

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I don’t know. The duration of a para-glider is 500 hours. Some companies say lifespan could be much longer with UV treatments and likely thicker fabrics.

That said yo-yo (reeling) cycles could lower the lifetime a lot.

The windsock below (in French language) is made with a 160 g/m² fabric with UV treatments.

I notice that the kite is docked by means of an auxiliary nose tether. Is this tether attached to the kite at all times while it is performing figure-eights and during the return cycle? I assume that the length of the nose tether must continuously be adjusted to prevent too much slack. Does this nose tether extend to the wings of the kite so that in the docking position the tether is further retracted to furl the kite?

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I think the auxiliary nose tether is a part of the mast.

I feel that this auxiliary nose tether is critical to the success or failure of the Skysails system. Imagine a kite 5-10 times the size and the nose tether breaks or gets entangled in the bridling. There is no way that the system can be safely docked and furled. What if the furling only takes place on one side of the kite? The Kite Control Unit will be ineffective in the docking position. Do we have a Skysails spokesperson in our forum who can answer these questions?

You can be right @gordon_sp and I am wrong. The auxiliary nose tether is a part of the kite: we can see it in the video on this page, even during the flight, floating in the air. During take-off and landing said nose tether is respectively unwound and rolled up from the mast.

Yes it is. But i guess it has to be done manually. Like when you self rescue with a kitesurfing kite you can pull one of the steering lines a long way in then the kite is flagged by that one line with no power and you can pull it in. And then you have to manually furl it starting with the side of the line that was pulled in first when it arrives at the ground station.

And i guess that the nose tether never really has any tension to speak of (because when it is in use the kite will depower totally like with a pump leach on a LEI kite or the 5th line on a 5 line foil kite, and when not in use it has no tension), so it is unlikely that it brakes.