Ride like the wind: Makani energy kite test flights in the works, lift off later this year

Makani tests their M600 energy kite in hover flight last Tuesday. The team will continue testing basic operations such as launching and landing the kite on its perch before flying a power-generating crosswind flight later this year. (Photos by GEORGE FULLER/SPECIAL TO WEST HAWAII TODAY)

Prototyping engineers Alan Ahoy and Crystal Allen install flight hardware on a partially-assembled M600 energy kite. (COURTESY PHOTO/MAKANI)

Kate Stirr and Jimmy Haley collaborate on a presentation about Makani’s technology.

Test Director Johnny Heineken reviews the test plan before Makani’s first hover flight of the M600 energy kite at their test site on Parker Ranch land. (COURTESY PHOTO/MAKANI)

WAIMEA — Two miles east of West Hawaii Concrete, Kate Stirr walked out in the deep brush Tuesday afternoon to get a better look at the hover kite. The tail was just above the ground as its rotors were idling, constrained by cables and connected by a tether.