- 02 February 2012 | Kiteboarding
The Peter Lynn laboratory has successfully proved that kite sailing will be reality in the upcoming years. Lynn, one of the greatest kite experts in the world, is trying to make kite powered boats truly competitive.
"Kites have two major advantages over conventional sails. The first and most significant is that they can be rigged to a boat's hull so as to cause no heeling", explains Peter Lynn.
"The second advantage that kites have is that because the kite is not rigidly connected to the boat; it can fly at higher altitude where wind is stronger and more consistent, and it can be 'worked', that is, looped to develop much more pull for its size than is available from a fixed sail", he adds.
Despite these challenging advantages, there are also a few cons. Not having a mast to pull the sail up on, wind is needed for kites to be launched and kept in the air.
Also, when the wind is weak (3 knots or 5 km/h), "it's not possible to usefully fly any current traction kite, while competing boats with conventional sails can still drift, getting slowly, but inexorably ahead".
Peter Lynn has taken his inspiration from George Pocock's (1774–1843) kite transportation inventions. In 2003, Lynn initiated a series of pilot kite launching tests. Back, then the results were not perfect, but the kite master decided to upgrade his technology and a new prototype has been born.
"I now use a simple hook on the pilot line which engages a loop on the traction kites leading edge. After launching the traction kite, the pilot line is pulled in, releasing this hook and allowing retrieval of the pilot", reveals Peter.
Lynn proved NASA-style single skin kites are better than Arc kites. In the future, the passionate kite manufacturer will be proving that kite sailing might beat the traditional sailing crafts.
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