Monday, February 04, 2008


Kite-sail, once it has been perfected, could be a huge advantage because:

  1. a kite is aerodynamically more efficient than a standard spinnaker - it doesn't just pull like a spinnaker, but "sails" back and forth at the end of its tether(s) thereby increasing the apparent wind it "sees".
  2. a kite is deployed aloft where there is more wind than the surface winds in which normal sails operate.

Dave CulpIf there's a man who knows about Kite sailing it has to be Dave Culp.
Dave began professionally designing kite powered boats in 1978 at the age of 24.
Culp-designed kite boats were entered at the Johnny Walker Speed Weeks in 1978--1981 and the Schmirnoff Speed Weeks in 1986--1988 in Weymouth, England.
Culp also co-designed and built a rigid winged 28 foot hydrofoil, a dozen kite powered craft between 14-30 feet and the OutLeader Brand rule-legal spinnaker replacement kites for America's Cup Class and other yachts.

According to him:
"With suitable budget and current technology, 100-120 kph (55-65 kts) is achievable, in my opinion. Above that is also possible, but will require some fundamental advances in design philosophy."
Dave Culp is currently the President of KiteShip Corporation.

KiteShip Corporation is dedicated at developing wind power for about any kind of ship, yacht, transoceanic deliveries and support craft.
They even cater for Aerospace and industrial. In fact, any application where large amounts of controlled, inexpensive power from wind is needed can be benefited by this technology.

KiteShip develops and markets Very Large Free Flying Sails (VLFFS) and control systems, technology and techniques for launching, controlling and recovering same aboard boats, ships, industrial and aerospace applications.
KiteShip is even working on programs to explore the surface of Mars.
As they explain at their site:
"Sailing doesn't require wind over water or even wind over land. KiteShip can exploit the differential between an underwater current and still water nearby or that between the Earth's jet stream and still air above, below or alongside to sail using a pair of tethered wings, one in each fluid. Twin-kite technology unleashes such vehicles from ground level limitations. We can sail on the Earth's jet stream at hundreds of mile per hour under complete control over millions of miles of surface to maintain station in the Earth's stratosphere for surveillance and communication applications, and the outer Solar System gas giant planetary atmospheres."
Although Kite-sailing technology sounds like sci-fiction to many people, Dave Culp and Chief Technician Dean Jordan have been using the fundamental advantages of traction kites for three decades.
As they state at their website, their goal is to bring this technology to the world.

KiteShip holds multiple world records and patents for their products and accomplishments.

"Let's go fly a kite
Up to the highest height
Let's go fly a kite
And send it soaring

Up through the atmosphere
Up where the air is clear
Oh, let's go fly a kite!"
- song from Mary Poppins.

Original article (Dec 17, 2002):

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