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This file was most recently edited on Wednesday October 24, 2012   

Scenario #3
Wind Powered Skydiving promises to be dirt cheap, but needs to reproduce fully the basic function of the Jump Plane to really be wildly popular: It must be a fast climb for multiple jumpers. Normal surface wind is not really enough to allow a jumper to launch with only a tether and their own canopy as a kite; that would require about 30 kts for modern sport canopies. Wind powered aerotowing is a partial solution, but these modes do not favor free-fall, the essence of the sport. What's needed is a sort elevator or upward zip-line held up and powered by large kites maintained at altitude. At the top there needs to be a "sky terminal,"  likely a light weight platform where several jumpers can gather.

The simplest existing model is a traditional "kite messenger", a wind-powered line-climbing device. The skydiver might use her own chute to rise along the line, as the power requirement is eased, but it would be important not to rub lines or chute together. A leader line might allow the jumper to work the chute clear of a main zip-line. The ultimate system is likely a kite-based AWE-driven gondola cableway to the sky, but it would be a considerable R&D project. Such a system would have many potential uses, even including regional transit.   ~ DaveS    March 25, 2011        M3250