Google buys flying wind-turbine startup Makani Power

2 of 8
Makani Power airbone kite wind turbine

credit: Makani Power

It looks kind of like a plane, doesn't it? Why is that? Makani answers:

"Makani uses on-wing generation for enhanced control, safety, operability in a wider range of conditions and simplified launching and landing. The rotors on the wing can be used either as propellers to generate thrust or as turbines to generate energy. This enables the [airborne wind turbine] to remain in the air (consuming a small amount of power) when wind speed is low and enables autonomous launching and landing. On-demand thrust also provides additional control in turbulent conditions where the wind speed and direction may change drastically."