In places where erecting massive wind turbines is impossible, wind power might still be feasible.
On a recent day in August in a field near Munich, Germany, a group of engineers launched a kite-like electric plane into the air and watched for the first time as it flew in figure eights in the sky. The device is one of a handful to take a different approach to wind energy: Instead of a traditional wind turbine with a massive tower and huge blades (that’s anchored to the ground), it shrinks the system into a tiny footprint and sends it into the air.
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