OilPrice: Do Flying Wind Turbines have a Future?, June 5, 2012


When I drove up to Makani’s building, which formerly housed the control tower for the Alameda Naval Air Station, the first thing I saw was three rusted artillery guns. That was a jarring sight, but the location makes sense. Corwin explained that this site was the largest available open space in the Bay Area and was perfect for building and testing Makani’s prototypes.

Others had told me about Makani’s technology, and the words “kite” and “high altitude” always come up, but these terms are misleading. When I think of kites, I think of Ben Franklin flying the traditional diamond-shaped kite with a tail. The Makani turbine is a carbon fibre wing with propellers (see photo), which Ben Franklin wouldn’t have known what to do with.