Giant kites pulling cargo ships

Published on July 1st, 2023

For nearly as long as there has been kiteboarding, there has been dreamers hoping to harness the power of the wind to pull ships over the sea. But maybe that ‘some day’ is coming soon with a 1,000-square-meter kite, flying 300 meters above the water.

That’s the basic idea behind the Seawing, a technology being developed by French company Airseas, which it says could help cargo ships reduce their fuel consumption, and cut their carbon emissions by an average of 20%.

Two engineers at the French aerospace company Airbus came up with the idea in 2016, launching Airseas to further develop the technology. After years of research, they are currently testing the kite on a cargo ship traveling between France and the US.

The company has received $2.7 million in funding from the EU, and says it already has orders from Airbus and Japanese shipping company “K” Line. It hopes to have the technology fully operational by the end of 2025. – Full report

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