A new Norwegian aircraft was flying for the first time in the end of 2016 when Kitemill did its successful test flight at Lista airport. This is the first an aircraft made in Norway is to produce renewable energy.
Photo by Thomas, Kitemill
Successful test flight: This is the new Norwegian aircraft developed by Kitemill. They had a successful test flight at Lista airport during Autumn 2016. Now they work with further development of the aircraft so that it is ready for serial production.
The plane was designed based on the kites that Kitemill has developed in the past. These kites, or planes, are the most important component to produce renewable, green and environmentally friendly energy based on Kitemill its competence.
It flew as it should
It was an important milestone when we noted that our new aircraft flew as it was planned to fly, says Sture Smidt in Kitemill.
He is the company’s discipline leader for the kite, aerodynamics and structure. It took him slightly more than one year to develop this new aircraft together with the company’s test pilot and kite responsible person, Jo Grini and the rest of the Kitemill team. It was built in Kitemill workshop at Lista by Jo Grini and Andrew Hogg. Andrew was assisting the building and is a microplane technician. Originally, the kite design was done by Philip Kolb. Jo Grini was responsible for the physical construction of the aircraft.
Next is series production
The new aircraft has a wingspan of 7.5 meter. The drawings were made by Sture Smidt, Jo Grini and the other employees within Kitemill. The aircraft is mainly composed of strong composite material containing a high fraction of carbon fibers. In this way, the aircraft is built to withstand strong forces in the air, while it is connected to a tether that transmits the kinetic energy to a ground-based drum. This drum is connected to a generator that produces electricity up to 30 kW. Now Kitemill is into developing and optimizing its aircraft even further for maximum performance and adjustment to serial production.
I find it very exciting to develop an optimized design for our kites. I work with both the aerodynamics and the structural mechanics design of our flying vehicles, says engineer Sture Smidt. He has been employed at Kitemill since April 2015 and has a long experience within aerodynamics and as a mechanical designer, both for Kongsberg Gruppen within airspace and for Umoe Mandal working with fiber reinforced composites in their new vehicles.
It is very rewarding to work within my field of interest, being airspace products, with design, construction and calculations, says Sture. He works for Kitemill from Moss daily.
Built an aircraft as a twelve-year old
Jo Grini was employed in Kitemill during 2013 and works in the project as the RC-pilot and as a result also with the electronics in the kite itself. Jo is an enthusiastic RC-model aircraft pilot with many merits: he was Norwegian champion for 19 times and Nordic champion three times. He built his first aircraft when he was 12 years old.
It is thrilling to work in Kitemill, together with so many competent persons that are all very convinced about renewable energy. I get a lot of energy that we share in this vision and all that is contribute during the discussions, because we always aim for the best and most cost-effective solutions, says the electrician from Fagernes. He says that all listen to each other’s viewpoints, that makes it a pleasure to work in Kitemill.