CoolIP index                                                          Most recent edit: Saturday March 30, 2013

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Commuting Kite-Planes for Offshore AWES Solutions

These offshore ideas expand on earlier Forum discussion of onshore Energy-Aircraft that commute to kite-fields from production and maintenance facilities.

We define a kite-plane as a high performance rigid-wing aircraft that operates from a tether. They have been proposed as suitable for offshore AWES, but no one has explained how they would survive adverse conditions like storms, salt-vapor, and even sea-bird poop, or be maintained properly and economically at sea, in such extreme exposed conditions.

A set of solutions consistent with aviation science and practice is for offshore energy kite-planes to commute into place, in rhythm with good conditions, and regularly withdraw (perhaps even a few times a week) to a nearby onshore airport, landing conventionally, for constant inspections and easy hangar maintenance. Modern weather forecasting enables good predictability within the operational latency of aviation operations.

The kiteplanes could be towed back and forth by seatow or aerotow. They might even be based from an Energy-Aircraft-Carrier supporting maintenance and repair, that itself commutes to port for storms with the entire "flock". The kiteplanes might swoop and use a sort of "boat-hook" to pick up a floating tether, much as common banner towing is done. The kite-plane might best carry its flying-tether on a storage reel. All "wet" rigging infrastructure could withdraw below storms. Different flying platforms might deploy according to seasonal and frontal cycles.

There would be no need for massive landing-cradle buoys (taller than storm waves), shock-proof cradle landings, E-VTOL , and all associated design compromises.

Comment and development of this topic will be occurring here.       
All, send notes, links, drawings, papers, videos, plans, safety-critical findings, and photographs!

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so now we are integrated with the latest standard cooperative IP model, but "coolIP" remains a nice shorthand.