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German Ocean Liner Tests Kite Sailing

Posted on February 6, 2008. Filed under: 1 | Tags: , , , |

Kite surfing is a heck of a lot of fun for individuals, but a German kite company has extended the technique to freight shipping. The world’s first kite powered freight ship recently embarked on its first 6 month ocean crossing, sailing from Germany to Venezuela.

MS Beluga SkySails’ kite stretches a surface of 160 square meters. It is as powerful as it is simple. Only a soft breeze enables a 132 meter heavy freight ocean liner to sail smoothly. A touch more than a slight breeze and the weather conditions can be termed optimal for the alternative energy source, cutting costs by as much as 50%. The kite was developed by a German manufacturer Sky Sails.

 The German magazine Der Spiegel reports that it will be tested out in the next six months in real life Atlantic freight shipping conditions. This is going to be the decisive journey which will determine whether the technique is going to be marketed to the shipping industry. If it turns out a success, more kites will go into operation before the Summer.

Watch a video of the kite ship here.

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