The Kite Runner

Jan 22, 2008 5:50pm

The days of the great sailing ships may be over.  Or maybe not. Witness the MS Beluga SkySails, a new cargo ship plying the route from Bremerhaven, Germany to Guanta, Venezuela.  It’s equipped with a computer-controlled kite–1,722 square feet, which the company says could pull it along and reduce its fuel consumption by 20 percent. With oil near $90 a barrel (it was down a bit today, which buoyed the stock markets), the inventors are quoted as saying the kite could save $1,600 a day in fuel costs. It’s also touted as reducing emissions from the ship’s engines: "We aim to prove it pays to protect the environment," inventor Stephan Wrage tells "Showing that ecology and economics are not contradictions motivates us all." There’s more HERE from SkySails, the maker of the kite, and a company video HERE, if you’re interested in retrofitting your own cargo ship to use one.

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