I’d like to discuss the topic of kite folding and storage, which I think is a crucial aspect in developing a fully autonomous Airborne Wind Energy System (AWES). I’m contemplating whether it’s better to have a selection, or “quiver”, of flying wings for the AWES instead of just one. In any case, we cannot overlook how these kites are stored. I’m open to ideas about how we might tackle this issue effectively.
For those applications where a lifter kite is used then there is no need to fold or unfold the kite. The kite is spread out on the ground or lifting frame, ready for launch, or is being used for lifting. My concept of a restrained lifter kite was developed to substantiate this thinking. (See ‘Restrained lifter kite’ topic). Extremely large lifter kites can be autonomously launched in landed using this method.
There are likely ways to fold groups of blades in
Here’s a folding-wing airplane / car. There have been a few flying cars over the years. They usually look very awkward, and involve enough complication, time, and labor, transitioning between flying and driving roles, that they’ve been seen as impractical. Also, it has been noted that a combination vehicle does not make a very good car or airplane. Too heavy to be a good plane, too flimsey and awkward to be a good car, Why not just tow your plane around on a trailer? Anyway, this one seems pretty awkward, but the developers are serious. here’s the link: