Thursday, May 21, 2015

Undersea kite-turbines in Wales

It's a pure, renewable energy source from the ocean's currents.
This first kite-turbine system will power 8,000 homes.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

New Wind Turbine Generates Electricity Without Rotating Blades

A Spanish company called Vortex Bladeless has produced a wind turbine that takes advantage of the vortices produced when wind moves around an obstacle.

It has no propeller blades that would kill many
hawks & migrating birds each year

Friday, May 1, 2015

Why do we put a tail on a kite?

For the answer to this often-asked question,
check out this article on Kite Stability

And if you've never seen it, this is one of my favorite videos of indoor kite flying. Daryl Yeh is the pilot and designer of the 'Zen Glider' indoor kite,

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Monday, April 13, 2015

New ways to create electrical energy from wind energy

Not only will these new technologies lower the cost of providing us with power,  they will expand our ability to provide cheap energy to areas that were inaccessible or too costly in the past.

...and have you seen California's new solar farm in  the Mojave Desert?

And how about generating power from the ocean's wave energy?

...or from tidal motion or river flow.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Soaring... another flying sport that uses solar energy

I've been flying airplanes since I was six and a half years old (my dad's buddy took us for a ride in his Taylorcraft back in 1949). My dad got his pilot's license when I was eight. I could fly a Cessna by the time I was eleven, although I wasn't old enough to log the hours, and I soloed in our own Cessna 140. It wasn't until 1973 that I went for my first glider ride out at Dillingham Airfield on Oahu's North Shore; it was a Schweitzer 232 aluminum skin sailplane. The pilot let me put the stick in the back seat, so I could fly too; he even let me do a couple of loops in it. I was hooked! I got my glider rating in 1999 after I moved to Northern California, taking instruction at Crazy Creek Glider Port, just outside of Middletown, CA.

Pre-solo chat with my instructor

Ready for solo!

My 1st solo landing

Ready to fly the single-place PW-5 for the 1st time

Thanksgiving Day 1999

One of my instructors took these in-air photos

My 1st passenger & brave soul, Alan Germain

Soaring to me, especially up there alone, is a sort of Zen... it's peaceful and quiet - there's only the sound of air over the airplane (unless you start giggling like I sometimes do). You can almost meditate while flying 'cuz you're 'in-the-zone'. Here's a sample:

Now you can watch competitive soaring!

My real reason for bringing up soaring (besides showing off my soaring photos) is what's happening with the addition of high technology communications to the sport. Competition, in the form of cross-country racing, is a very personal sport; there's not much in the way of spectator inclusion, unless you want to watch the take-offs and then wait an interminable amount of time for the finish. Now, with communications equipment and computer programs like that used for The America's Cup sailboat races, spectators can watch these sailplane races on TV or a computer in their own home. Here's a couple of videos to give you an idea of what it's like.

like the dude said in the video, you don't need fossil fuel to get the adrenaline pumping.

Friday, April 3, 2015


Stop by your nearest dollar store and pick up a handful of dollar kites (most of them fly very well, especially the little diamond kites packaged in mylar sleeves). Call your friends, meet them at the park or the beach, and have some fun flying kites. Really... it's O.K. to do that.

It's officially O.K. to 'go-fly-a-kite!'