ftero - Airborne Wind Energy

by ftero


Student project at ETH Zurich with the goal to develop an autonomous and aerodynamical optimized Airborne Wind Energy System.

CHF 21’136

211% of CHF 10’000

211 %
This is how it worksä

The «all or nothing» principle applies: The project only receives the funds if the funding target is reached or exceeded.

34 backers

Successfully concluded on 12/4/2017


Society grows increasingly aware of the necessity to think and act environmentally sensitive. Due to global warming challenges arise, which reguire a great deal of creativity to master. Thus, new ways have to be explored; ways to be discovered by scientists and engineers.

For us it presents a unique chance to develop a novel system at ETH Zürich, which possesses the ability to open up a better future.

ftero – team, october 2016

Das ftero – Team, im Oktober 2016
Das ftero – Team, im Oktober 2016

Airborne Wind Energy

Energy is generated within two phases. During the first phase – the traction phase – the aerodynamic force acting on the wing will be transferred to the generator on the ground via a rope. Consequently, this force will make the generator on the ground spin. This phase continues until a specific height is reached.

During the second phase the rope is retracted while the aircraft is reapproaching the groundstation. In order to recieve a positive energy balance, the plane follows an optimal trajectory while using the gravitational force.



A more efficient use of aerodynamic concepts makes the ftero airborne wind energy system a clear competitor to wind turbine systems. In high altitude the winds are more constant and much stronger. Those altitudes cannot be reached by conventional wind turbines due to their massive foundation.


The ftero system is an renewable way of producing electricity, since no greenhouse gases are released. Due to its non-space invasive construction the visible landscape is not affected. The system can be used around the globe independently of the topography.


Our System is compact and thus mobile. The energy is produced locally and has no need to be connected with the electricity grid. So, the ftero system could be utilized as an energy source near a natural catastrophy or within rural areas. If multiple ftero systems are coupled together, land or offshore wind parks can be designed.

That’s what we need your support for

Our project depends entirely on sponsoring. In fact, our own work is not salaried. However, due to expensive materials such an undertaking is still very expensive.
Through generous sponsorship we managed to cover numerous expenses already, such as for the groundstation and electronics. With your aid we will finally be able to produce our aircraft!

We are highly motivated to pursue our ambitious goal. Through your support we will get another step closer to achieve our goal!