Our tethered aircraft systems consist of an efficient glider connected to a ground-based winch with a tether, enabling the transfer of mechanical energy both to and from the aircraft while airborne.
By synchronizing the reel-in and reel-out of the tether with the aircraft dynamics, the system flies without onboard propulsion energy in all wind conditions. This capability can be applied to uniquely address shortcomings in existing wind energy and aviation technologies.
Tethered aircraft systems offer a 10x improvement over these technologies by replacing material weight with software and direct grid-connectivity, bypassing numerous energy conversion steps.
Successful first flights of the demonstrator aircraft were completed at Oostwold Airport, The Netherlands in November 2023, making it the largest system of its kind to ever fly. The test campaign is divided into 2 phases:
Characterization of the aerodynamic performance and behavior of the aircraft under autonomous control in an untethered configuration.
Integration of the tether and tether management system, followed by further characterization of system performance and reliability.
In parallel, a smaller aircraft is being readied as a specific test bench vehicle for sustainable aviation technologies. More on that soon...