VIDEO: First Fully Autonomous Flight of Airborne Wind Generation System
On May 3rd, 2012, Makani drafted specifications for a ground station from which its 30 kW airborne wind turbine could be deployed. On May 9th, 2013, after a year of mechanical design, fabrication and testing, the team completed the first-ever fully autonomous flight of a kite power system.
The airborne wind turbine eliminates 90% of the material used in conventional wind turbines, and can access winds both at higher altitudes and above deep waters offshore.
Makani Power has also announced that it is being acquired by Google, which will provide Makani with the resources to accelerate its work on the development of the wind turbine.
The following is a video showing all flight modes, launch, hover, power generation, hover and land in real time:
Offshore WIND Staff, May 24, 2013; Image: Makani Power