CoolIP index                                                          Most recent edit: Monday January 07, 2013

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 Perforated Ribbon-Wings flown from Sprockets

Ribbon wings are cheap and simple, with many known instances in AWES design. A basic improvement in handling ribbon wings is to perforate the leading and trailing edges with sprocket holes, so as to better handle them mechanically, just as perforated motion-picture film is processed by sprocketed rollers in cameras or projectors. We have long considered rollers to handle ribbon wings, and adding sprockets is just a next natural step.

Recall that Ron Welty around 2009 envisioned a ribbon-like fabric ladder-mill made of collapsible wind pockets on looped belt. Since then, the idea of a "sideways" (crosswind arched) laddermill has caught on. Sprocketed versions of Welty Mills could be a real AWES contender.


  • -Endless ribbon wings would be "roll-stock" fabric, a most potent COTS.
  • -The holes would act as turbulators, enhancing the single-skin wing's flying properties.
  • -Holes meshed on sprocket teeth keep roll-stock from slipping or folding at rollers.
  • -Well tuned ribbon arches can be set from roller sprockets specially angled. Roller geometry can be conical to allow for proper wing tuning.
  • -Each "frame" on the roll could be a crosswind kixel, so the "film" is driven crosswind, as the AWES working principle.

    Expect a dinky proof-of-concept demo soon, with an aim to show continuous toothed circulation as a crosswind Welty mill.

    CoolIP* and CC BY NC SA        ~Dave Santos         7Jan2013                               AirborneWindEnergy/message/8363

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