Experts are now assessing the results of the maiden voyage of the world's first kite-assisted cargo ship

Experts are now assessing the results of the maiden voyage of the world’s first kite-assisted cargo ship. Initial indications are that the kite saved the 9,700-tonne Beluga Skysails some 2.5 tonnes of fuel per day during her 11,000-mile voyage from Germany to the Netherlands via Venezuela, the USA and Norway.

The 160m² kite used for the voyage (or rather kites, one having exploded ‘somewhere high over the Atlantic’) was for test purposes, but larger versions up to 600m² are planned. Further test voyages will be carried out this year and, if successful, it is surely only a matter of time before a system suitable for small boat use is developed.