|Staged Launching &
for Giant KitePlanes
Those who design giant kiteplanes face daunting landing
and takeoff challenges. There is just not enough lift or control authority
near the ground. Safety and reliability by complex flight automation is
way out of reach. Even small crack-ups can negate the business model. Some
possible end-to-end solutions are based on sequenced kitetrain stages with
Here is a current scenario: A massive anchor turret
holds the giant kiteplane in its cradle. First a tiny blimp rises from the
KitePlane fuselage and initiates a "packed" train of sparred lifter kites
from out of the "box" up into good wind. Lift peaks at the required force
by winching hard against the train and the giant kiteplane is lifted
bodily aloft. Climbing, it soon sustains flight by its own lift.
At operating altitude the Giant KitePlane sweeps freely in power
generating mode, with the kite-train above it providing a passive pilot
function. As wind freshens the upper train passively furls. By an elastic
aft bridle, the pilot blimp trails by its nose in gale-force.
To land: the Giant KitePlane passively "ziplines" to its
anchor-point, a nice solution for sudden control-emergencies. The
upper-train retracts with curtain-like drawlines, at low force. In
fitful calm: the launch/land sequence rests with partially deployed
top kites and mini-blimp for early full restart.
Everything lands in reversed take-off sequence and ends up nicely
stack-packed for relaunch. The launch/land automation is simpler (smaller
state machine) than autonomous VTOL/STOL landing of giant high-speed
~Dave Santos Nov.
8 , 2010
Comment and development of this topic will be occurring here.
All, send notes, drawings, and photographs!
Terms and aspects:
- Giant kiteplane
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