Sprung or Inflated Landing Perch; Water Trebuchet Launching

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November 2, 2019                 Dave Santos

Sprung or Inflated Landing Perch; Water Trebuchet Launching

As rigid wing kiteplanes scale up, landing on small perches becomes increasingly marginal. Some designs adopt eVTOL (M600) and others large landing gears (AP3). Both methods add flying mass, reducing performance.

A third approach is landing a large kiteplane on a very springy or soft perch. Nets have been long been used for landing small UAVs, but for a large kiteplane even net support spars need to be shock absorbing. Landing on a smooth airbag could be even softer, less liable to snag, and more damped than an elastic net, like a stunt fall-bag works.

A combination of these novel features can comprise a superior perch that not only eliminates eVTOL dependence and mass, but also may land the greatest fastest possible wing mass more gently than any onboard landing gear.

As for a possibly superior novel perch-launch method, a possibly water-ballasted trebuchet perch could throw a large kiteplane into flight much like a paper airplane, maybe with a longer higher softer throw than perch platform rail-launch. The same landing spring spars could impart a high final "snap" velocity to gain max altitude upwind and maybe do an Immelmann back to the kite window.

Of course, takeoff from and landing on any sort of perch with a rigid kiteplane is not the most scalable AWES path, but methods described here, singly or in combination, may help reach the limits, and/or bypass patents.