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Step-Towing Scale-Up //Re: Climbing Kites in Calm CKC

Once again what we first saw done with toy kites scales up rather painlessly. The HG and PG Step-Towing Revolution proves good AWE working altitudes can be reached by surface winches without a large field, E-VTOL, or lifting gas. This is a critical AWES capability, to be able to launch thru calm (like normal overnight surface inversion) into good wind waiting above.

Note that these playful weekend scientists managed to "manlift" (fairly) safely and legally under existing flight regs. 100 dollars and a case of beer would hire such pilots to pull on a generator capstan after the step-tow (to net maybe 10kW avg in a good breeze). One could even charge eager licensed pilots a sport fee, for power cheaper than coal. All glider classes have power-making potential and can be re-purposed as AWES UASs.

Ballistic phases can be envisioned for future CKC, where after a brief tow pulse to accelerate to high speed, the wings go to zero AoA, or even fold, and the aircraft is thrown upward at low drag. The bounding flight of many birds has brief ballistic periods. I recently proposed KULeven spin up its hot kiteplane (concept) short-lined like a sling shot and let it go, paying out its tether freely as it climbs out over 500m high, another "tow-based" CKC idea. The slingshot method eliminates in principle the vestigal step-tow tow-field, but can transition to step-tow for extended climb.

CoolIP*                      ~Dave Santos                 27Dec2011           AWES2977    and its following posts 


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Terms and aspects:   

  • Active kiting mode followed by relaxed tether gliding mode followed by kiting mode. Notice that kiting mode is still involved in the gliding mode, but with resist arriving from tether in gliding mode is reduced to lows.
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