I find that very interesting. It’s the closest look at the Skysails Yacht system we have, I believe.
Launch and landing aren’t automatic, it’s a leading edge inflatable kite. They are lighting it at night. Max nonstop flight over 9 hours, Top speed of 9.8 Nds (whatever that unit may be).
Though very nice I am a bit let down by the fact that they always seem to be headed directly downwind. This will severely limit the speed you could sail.
It is worth mentioning again though, that kite systems behave differently than sails. The kite is moving crosswind. It will allow the ship to go closer to windspeed than a sail of similar size.
Thats true. But still I would like to see the ship go crosswind as well. With ships I believe one of the main issues will be to support fast ship motion in whatever wind is available. Going slowly directly downwind is the thing that proves «least». Still impressed by their system, and it seems well built. But always wanting more…
I’m wondering how moving crosswind would look with kites. Obvisously one could do it like kitesurfers, but then the kite speed is limited by the ship speed and this is probably less efficient. However if the kite is let out, it has to return to the starting position. One could have an array of kites flying in an oval, slowly forward, fast back. The winching out maybe could be transferred to a screw. Sounds really complicated, but someone should have a look at it.