Originally Posted by Cotemar
They have automated Kite systems also. Those are the ones cruisers would end up using. They are programmed to do the figure eight, so they make a higher apparent wind
and faster stronger pull.
Please give more details. Is it fully mechanical, or does it use computer control. How does it work?
Originally Posted by transmitterdan
Would a helium balloon give enough lift
to the "head" of a small lightweight asymmetrical sail so a mast
was not required to launch it and keep it flying? Wouldn't take up much space until needed. There is quite a bit of helium in those party tanks
at Wal-Mart although they are steel
and would rust out in about a month. But an aluminum
high pressure canister can hold quite a bit.
No, at least not on a small scale.
The problem is you need a lot of volume of helium to lift
things, and this results in an inefficient kite. On a small scale, it is of course possible, but the pointing angle would be less, and the kite would produce a lot less power downwind as well because it couldn't fly in a figure 8 very well.
There are also problems with deployment and obtaining the gas. You can use hydrogen but it takes energy to produce and leaks
Originally Posted by s/v Beth
Couldn't a kite be designed to not require much movement, but rather just sit there and pull? It seems to me that is what regular kids
kites do. I know this sounds silly, but how about a regular kite only larger- like a box or similar- that would just sit there and pull. The only other requirement would be a way to depower the kite when the wind
got too much, maybe a second string (could also act as a tail) to pull on when you want the kite to collapse.
Nobody has mentioned the utility of a kite for rescue. I thing an orange thing hanging 300 feet in the air would be a good thing.
Yes, probably, but it wouldn't develop much power for it's size.
How about a glider instead of a kite? With control surfaces (and servos controlled by a computer) and it can fly in a figure 8 as well as other patterns, but also easily "land" on the boat when reeled in. It would be more efficient than a kite (but likely heavier) being a fixed wing but simplifies a lot of issues with the kite.
Also a possible combination is to use fixed wing sails
on the boat which allows pointing very close to the wind, and good overall performance (without planing), but if the conditions allow, launch a kite and travel at a higher speed.