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See also new architecture for AWE: Vertically Shunting Kite Arches

  • Kite-lifted inline-tethered cross-winding shunting kiteplanes
  • Terrain-held inline-tethered cross-winding shunting kiteplanes
  • v?
Shunting KitePlane AWECS Demo          March 2011                        M3264
Most sailboats tack (& gybe), but a special class, the Polynesian Proa, "shunts" (trades fore & aft ends) to accommodate its high performance bilateral asymmetry. Similarly a WingMill can be designed to tack or shunt. For three years now KiteLab's experimental wingmills have only self-tacked, with shunting kite flight explored by manual flying. A self shunting kiteplane was on the waiting list to demo, but emerged by accident last week when a model it did not tack as expected. A wingmill law-of-motion emerges that a longitudinally stiff kiteplane bridled near its CG naturally tends to shunt, while a longitudinally flexible kiteplane bridled ahead of its CP naturally tends to tack. Shunting is a powerful mode for an AWECS wing; a real-world example of a (rotary) shunting foil is the Aerobie flying ring where the strange foil section operates bidirectionally. This is a hot enough wing that the ring holds the record for hand thrown distance (+1000ft).
The little shunting kiteplane in video linked below was made in a few minutes from ordinary cardboard & a stick, & has the peculiar quality of being a conventional aircraft in one direction & a canard configuration in the other. There are a couple of secrets to its operation; the kiteplane hangs (from terrain or a lifter) as a classic mass-spring element & the fixed foils operate in-trim by the apparent wind created as the kiteplane rebounds from shunting. The wind power that excites it is extracted by damping tug.
Many Thanks to JoeF for hosting & posting these files!


Proa kite buggies:
Faust phased-tugging with shunting flight for zero-wing kiting-gliding: glide out and kite return on same projection path; glide-out at say 8:1; tug in and path on same line for kite for a climb to a new altitude. The wing remains unrotated. See www.AWEIA.org/CKC/