First Flight of the Prototype
For a few months now, sailors in the bay of Marseille and surrounding waters have been crossing the path of odd riggings, manned by crews dressed in blue sailing jackets, sometimes accompanied by camera drones...
Indeed, since the delivery of the prototype this past summer, the Syroco team has been busy installing, configuring and testing all the onboard and outboard systems that “power” the speedcraft. For this, they designed customized test platforms that would allow unit testing of the different elements, and integrated testing of the whole system. And they spent countless days at sea, doing trials, finding bugs, fixing these bugs, testing again and again.
And then, earlier this month, an important milestone was reached: the first stable flight of the prototype.
For this campaign, the test platform consisted of a fast boat rigged with a 5-meter-high mast system that could provide a traction angle equivalent to the one of the kite. The prototype was strung to this rigging that essentially simulated the kite, and as the chaseboat picked up speed, the prototype gently lifted over water. The foil came into action, providing the opposing force as defined in the aile d’eau concept. And it started flying!
This was a very important step in the validation process. The team knew it would fly, it worked in computer simulations. Now it works in real life!
Next step: replace the simulated kite with the actual kite and its control systems. Stay tuned…