A Very Long Towline

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

John Carpinelli has a lofty vision, borne on gossamer threads that would pull giant cargo planes into the heights. We’re familiar with the rapid ascent of a sailplane on a winch tow, pitching up into a fighter-like climb and dropping off the towline at some predetermined altitude. What if the tow ropes were attached to a large, electrically-propelled airplane, pulling a heavy jet transport to a point several kilometers above its launch? It’s not as wild-eyed as it sounds – at least according to the CleanTech Open organizers. The Cleantech Open is an organization looking to find, fund and foster startup companies in green industries, and chose Electric Takeoff, Carpinelli’s firm, as a semifinalist in the Transportation category in their …