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Wind Inflated Structures (persistent-inflation in calm)

Keep in mind that the following applies to airborne architecture (not just ground structure), even if the structure is forced to land by calm:

Problem: We often consider the wonderful future for simple wind-inflated structures. So that they do not promptly sag in still-air, a simple passive means of keeping form is needed.

Solution: Systematic use of one-way valve ram-air inlets, with low-loss pressure-stages (airbeams) pumped up during wind, such that when the wind dies, low-loss airbeam networks maintain structural shape for a suitable period. Note that absence of windloads allows small restorative airbeam forces to keep shape. Return of the wind renews the persistent pressure reserve. A small blower would do as a rarely needed back up.

An old idea, perhaps never yet done, is to create a large simple wind-driven low-pressure air pump made of light fabric, self-oscillating, like a big inflated beating heart, as a cool soft-kite idea. Fluidic logic applies. A basic "air-diode" method is a tapered cone of fabric that acts somewhat like a heart valve. The cone is a small Venturi intake that enhances forward flow, backflow is resisted. For a full one way valve effect, a flapper-valve or cone-collapse method can be chosen. Embodied logic is a cool extension of computer science.

  • CC BY NC SA         ~Dave Santos         22Sept2013              Discuss at:  airbornewindenergy10218  

Comment and development of this topic will be occurring here.       
All, send notes, links, drawings, papers, videos, plans, safety-critical findings, and photographs!

  • Terms and aspects:   
  • Related links and concepts:
  • Commentary is welcome:
    • Mothras will create a nice bow-wave for gliders to operate (like slope-lift). Imagine a "townhouse" row in a vast arch kite, with parked gliders launching into lift :)

      Wind-Architecture concepts by glider pilots-


      ----- Forwarded Message -----
      From: Joe Faust <>
      To: dave santos <> 
      Cc: "" <>; Pere H. Casellas <> 
      Sent: Sunday, September 22, 2013 10:44 AM
      Subject: Re: Inflatable Dune? Who?

      Yeasrs ago in OZ Report and in my sites we were brainstorming on various fences for flatland slope soaring of hang gliders. Some pilots have shown that it does not take much of a wall or fence placed approximated perpendicular to the wind to form a lift zone adequate for slope soaring a hang glider.   Travel from city to city? Etc.  Excited about the discussion and various fences (like Running Fence by Christo and Jeanne-Claude).  We got into kite-lifted play sails with extremely long width, positively-inflated tubes, etc. Pere Casellas drew up the ram-air inflated fence or artificial hill or slope which you see.  is his site.      Pere is copied for this reply. 
      We covered the idea that landscapes might be sculpted to provide regular slop soaring to facilitate travel of people and goods.  
      Lift for all, 

      On Sun, Sep 22, 2013 at 10:16 AM, dave santos <> wrote:

      Image linked to your site, neat idea (close to a Mothra), who did this?

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