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Benjamin Franklin used a kite to prove that lightning is electricity; The German engineer Stephan Wrage is using a kite to move really big ships. Inspired by two of his hobbies-kite-flying and sailing-Wrage realized that large kites could be used to pull freighters, thereby dramatically reducing fuel..


Benjamin Franklin used a kite to prove that lightning is electricity; The German engineer Stephan Wrage is using a kite to move really big ships. Inspired by two of his hobbies-kite-flying and sailing-Wrage realized that large kites could be used to pull freighters, thereby dramatically reducing fuel costs and producing fewer emissions. His SkySails kits reach more than 3,000 square feet and cost between $600,000 and $4 million, but can quickly pay for themselves-the largest can trim fuel costs by an average of 35 percent. One freighter, the MS Beluga SkySails, recently completed a 14,000-mile transatlantic voyage with a prototype computer-controlled kite, demonstrating potential savings of $2,000 a day in reduced fuel costs. The company looks to equip 35 more ships with kites in the coming year.LEARN MORE skysails.comPHOTO SkySails GmbH & Co. KG
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