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Giant Kite Helps Propel Cargo Ships

Revolutionary device helps sail 21,528-ton ship across Atlantic Ocean to reduce transport costs and emissions.

'Seawing' a 2,700-square-foot parafoil kite pulling a cargo ship.
Credit: Airseas

French start-up Airseas has successfully tested a massive kite that can help pull cargo ships over the sea in the Atlantic Ocean, marking a significant advancement for the shipping industry. The "Seawing," a 2,700-square-foot parafoil kite, was first tested last month on the Ville de Bordeaux, a 21,528 gross tons cargo ship.

"We are proud to have a solution that can help ships reduce their emissions right now, and accelerate the decarbonization of the maritime sector over the coming years," Vincent Bernatets, CEO of Airseas, said in a statement.

The company has already landed some big shippers and installed some of the Seawing propulsion systems to bulk carrier ships. The innovative parafoil kite flies 200 meters in the air to capture steadier, stronger winds.

The Seawing integrated solution incorporates kite technology with an automated flight control system created by the aerospace industry to capture wind power.

The system is "safe, clean, reliable, and compact," and it can be easily implemented on virtually any commercial ship to reduce emissions and fuel consumption by an average of 20 percent, claims the company.

Whilst we await clean fuels to power cargo ships, this parafoil kite should help put an interim dent in the industry's emissions.



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