When fuel costs become sufficiently high and/or governmental air and water quality regulations became sufficiently heinous, the commercial shipping industry will look to sail power as an assist to petroleum powered vessels. The industry has done this before, and will do so again. These worldwide economic and political conditions are upon us today. This time, there is strong evidence that recent fuel cost increases aren't going to be temporary, and environmental restrictions will become increasingly draconian.
Conventional masted sail solutions have inherent limitations which will continue to delay their application long past the point where wind-assist can become cost effective. The ability to design massive sail power without need for ballast, without fixed masts interfering with loading and unloading procedures, without adding hundreds of tons and tens of millions of dollars to build costs is critical. The ability to retrofit existing vessels cheaply and efficiently is paramount. The ability to build, repair and maintain systems remote from shipboard, eliminating downtime is an important asset; KiteShip has understood these advantages for decades. We have been readying appropriate technology for commercial tethered flight sailing since 1978.
In addition to mainline marine propulsion and sail assist, KiteShip is working on marine applications as diverse as towing oil rigs and other large marine structures, diverting icebergs from oil platforms in high latitudes and in autonomous robot towing of relatively safe cargo such as bagged water, liquid fructose and the like.
- We flew the first water-launchable, inflated leading edge kites, 1978.
- We flew the largest sailing kites on the planet, 1978.
- We flew the first lighter-than-air traction kites, 1982.
- We patented the first bi-directional kite board, 1984.
- We again built and flew the world's largest sailing kite, 1997.
- We invented, the world's first rule-legal free-flying spinnaker replacement kite, for the world's highest-level yacht racing classes, 2001.
- We took the Guinness world record for largest vessel ever pulled by a kite, 2002.
- We took the Guinness world record for largest kite to pull a vehicle, 2004.
Our currently shipping products are an order of magnitude larger and more powerful than any on the planet; are several times as large as any even in serious planning stages. Who should you believe and trust with your business, planners or doers?
KiteShip is working on more firsts in the commercial marine field. There are practical challenges to tethered flight as to any other solution, which KiteShip encountered and solved long ago. If your firm requires a new look at attacking the 21st century's thorniest on-water propulsion and cost issues, drop us a note. KiteShip is doing what other firms are only dreaming about.