New Arch Flying Techniques at WSIKF2011
- The recent WSIKF kite festival here on the US Pacific coast continued its tradition of featuring kite arches and trains on the first day. Jim Patton and crew flew their complex branching train, as usual, and Ed Jensen had huge new arch up of over 200 kite elements.Ed and volunteers were poised to extend an arch to over a kilometer across and over-arch the entire festival, but a fearful safety officer nixed the attempt (Lesson: Never ask permission to do good.). The augmented arch was instead to have flown just up-beach of the festival, but the wind that day grew to the point Ed feared breakaway, as an arch of his extended flatter and higher across high wind would have developed far greater power than its line was specified to.What happened instead was an AWE brainstorming session as we huddled behind a windbreak in the blowing sand. Ed, Ray, Paolo (WOW President), and i were joined by the infamous kitegod Scott Slater and we flew arches and trains in our imaginations. The consensus is that these structures are indeed an open path to setting large amounts of kite across the wind.We agreed that an arch can be depowered by adding a tag-line at the center and drawing it down. As kites transition from horizontal lift to hanging on-edge they fully depower. We reviewed various flight modes listing new ways to raise and douse arches. By simply slacking one side to rotate the arch downwind its pushed down gradually without having to haul it down. Ed agreed that an arch will cascade launch by initiating flight along any part of it. He concurs that multi-line multi-kite structures are more robust than single-line single-kites.I outlined the concept of the "MacroKite", a vast virtual kite made of many cross-linked kites to fully comprise an integrated AWE kitefarm. Such a self-flying lifter structure can host many halyards to haul windpower harvesters up and down. It can be belayed to rotate in a circle of anchors. The MacroKite can be developed by hybridizing existing arches and trains into a collective kite geometry (something like KiteShip's OL kite's "minimal surface" geometry).Ed, Ray, and Scott agreed on the workability of these ideas solidly as based on classic kiting. Paolo got to see many arches flying on the first day of the festival and learned the secrets of this powerful method from top experts. Ed, Ray, Scott, and i await professional opportunity to fully research the grand potential of novel large kite structures.