Complex AWES are very expensive and unreliable. Dave Culp was right, “a blue tarp can power a village”, but only experienced kite makers have the “Wright Stuff”.

JAL is gradually refining Blue Tarp Power Kites, with a few others in the Kite World. Attached is latest work and related examples. Obviously, money is no problem. No problem either matching the new cheap wings to generators and other jobs. The core principles scale far more safely and effectively than fancier concepts.

Pioneering AWE has just been a matter of ideas, due time, and diligence, with everyone finally able to do it.


A discussion is already open on A viable AWES using Stratta-Bâche-Kite? Tarp-Kite, Tarp-AWES?

Wow, I read this message, then had to go next door to turn off some lights, and there were a bunch of blue tarps. One was on the ground - I had placed it there for my dog to have a clean surface to lay on one day. Right next to it was a stack of hang gliders, covered with a big blue tarp to shield them from dust and UV light. And in the garage, yet another blue tarp, folded on top of a 5-gallon bucket. What a coincidence! Suddenly the world is all about blue tarps! Beginning with the JAL world.

Only thing is, “in our last exciting episode”, JAL had shown us some interconnected cloth triangles laying on the ground, claiming that they would be, “in the future” easily utilized to generate power. (Which I did not believe for one minute…)

The configuration was to be located over a pit, such as an open pit mine, whereby they could pull trains up tracks installed on the sides of the pit, or otherwise use “the power of wiggle” to somehow generate power.

As usual, THIS theme is supposed to be conveniently forgotten as we move on to the NEXT pile of crumpled cloth laying on the ground, with the threats of how easy it “will be” (in the future of course), now that JAL has suddenly “discovered” blue tarps, to (finally?) generate power.

On this day, therefore, “JAL” is declaring “Pioneering AWE has just been a matter of ideas, due time, and diligence, with everyone finally able to do it.”
This would imply that thusfar, there have been no “ideas”, no “due time”, and no “due diligence”, but that as of this day, with the incredible “discovery” of “blue tarps”, the entire world has just undergone a quick transition, and because of that “discovery” of “the blue tarp”, there is now “No problem either matching the new cheap wings to generators and other jobs.” because: “Obviously, money is no problem.”.

OK I would point out, we’ve all been using blue tarps from day-one. What was the non-power-producing “Mothra” made of? Blue tarps, because they were cheap. What did I use as a tail to keep my lifter kite from crashing with the repaired Popular Science “Sky Serpent” prototype? A blue tarp. Cheap, and easily obtained from Harbor Freight. I would note it was beginning to get shredded after a few hours of exposure to the wind. Same thing with a giant blue tarp a friend here used to cover his large boat - strong winds quickly ruined it.
Anyway, what I see here is MORE crumpled stuff laying on the ground, with more promises of easy future success.

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Good to know. I have also had reports of tarpaulins tearing at the first gust of wind, even tarpaulins made of solid materials that are UV resistant for years (I have experienced their UV resistance).

It’s not for nothing that kites are made of a different material, often ripstop.

And small saving on kites is only a small part of the overall cost of an AWES. That said the UV resistance still needs to be improved.

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From DaveS:
Not a single tarp was damaged by high wind when Mothra was flown in gales. It’s only old tarps and poorly rigged tarps that tear easily.

Noticed the innovation of backing up the tarp with nylon cord?
It’s ok to complain, but better to solve complaints.

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Useful information and fine solution. Thanks.

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Yeah, nice “solution”. Maybe run lines thru the seams at the edges, eh? Anyway, no problem with using blue tarps, just a problem with pretending they just showed up today and now the world has suddenly changed. They’ve been around a long time. Longer than the AWE promises of daveS! I thought we were staill waiting for the miracle of the cloth triangles - now we’re supposed to forget about that.
“You are getting very sleeeeepy. Your eyelids are feeling Heaaaavy. You will forget about the Jalbert Triangles and when I clap my hands,you will wake up excited about Blue Tarps! CLAP!”

Now almost anyone can make cheap kite power.

This B2a is a breakthrough power kite comparable

to the NASA Power Wing (NPW), but costs less

than $10USD and can be rigged in an hour.

B2a Kite JAL

Finally, a good working bridle geometry (B2) worked out for the best Tarp Power Kite yet. The two tricks needed were 1) give up the upper corner lines and 2) relax the lower corner lines. The major innovation is to flatten the wing via the nylon cord network backing the tarp.

It once again turns out that kite design is heuristic-algorithmic search over a large configuration space, such that optimality can be converged on in just a few steps. One sees the iconic NASA NPW and KiteShip OL deltoid form emerging here. The floppy ears recall Central and South American “fish” kites, that also leave extra LE material, that seems to help condition attached flow (“feature not a bug”).

Expect soon to see this evolving wing doing work, including electrical generation, at less than $10 each, and rigged in an hour.

Just to review what the Big Deal is here, after 20yrs of tarp kite evolution, Eureka, no one will be denied AWE because it is too complex and capital intensive but it will work at small scale, as cheap distributed power, as well as at mega-scale, by the same simple principles. 1/2 billion dollars over 15yrs confirm energy drones based on composite airframes and complex aerobatic and eVTOL flight automation are unsafe, do not pay, nor scale under classic scaling laws.

Loose Tarp Kite ears now pinned back, still serving as turbulators, but could be clipped as 6% of area. It was too dark to photograph pinned ears, but looks like this touched-up image from earlier in the day, that evokes a steerable triangular Rogallo reserve chute as used in HG-PG, but it’s really just a blue tarp at ~1/100 the cost.

Now comes the fun part, to dial in bridle lengths until it glows. After that, rig an asymmetric looping tarp wing under a tarp pilot kite to comprise a passive pumping AWES beyond what even Dave Culp first dreamt of. Anyone wish to bet it cannot be done?

Comparable performance to similar Rogallo reserve canopies-


#2 was close enough to just needed tweaking-

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Triangle Reserve Canopies gaining Popularity
Highest deceleration power-to-mass, low-cost, compare with “Jalbert Triangles”.


Gin’s Yeti Cross

Yeti Cross

GIN GLIDERS ::: Yeti Cross -- GIN square rescue - YouTube

Gin Yeti Cross 32 - ParaglidingGuide.com

A Rogallo triangle does normally track forward, but a tri-symmetric canopy does not normally track, just descends vertically. However, a Rogallo can be stalled to descend vertically, and a triangular canopy can be pulled to track/steer in any direction.

We at Jalbert Aerology Laboratory (JAL) are better able to see this because our scope of canopy knowledge is broader than just reserve chute needs.

Others will think wrongly that triangle sail knowledge leads nowhere, rather than being essential.

Well, Sorry to point out that this is a continuation of 15 years of “getting ready to get ready” from “the smartest people in the room” promising that they will finally start to generate significant power “very soon”. In any case, it would have been a mistake to hold our breaths waiting… :slight_smile:
All the statements about the inherited Jalbert triangles “making power” “soon” have already fallen by the wayside…

Tarp Power Kite Testing Milestone (passive dynamic pumping)

Tuning in bridle settings for spontaneous
Dutch-roll oscillations pumping crosswind.

Tarp Self-flying Crosswind by JAL

Courtesy: David Santos Gorena-Guinn, CTO - JAL, TX. USA.