Jets sitting on the runway pre-takeoff can create wind speeds of up to 300 miles per hour. In the United States, where about35,000 passenger jets take off daily, from more than 900 commercial airports, the potential for harnessing this wind power represents an enormous energy advantage to airports.
But Hales is stymied on two counts. His device, which consists of a reinforced housing containing a wind turbine, flywheel, and generator, needs a prototype. And the prototype needs financing.
Of course, Hales has a patent on the idea, which involves five FreeWind units mounted in front of a blast fence (many of which are already being used at airports), with two additional baffles to make sure the turbulence is directed at the blast fence and not dissipated. The entire assembly is located perpendicular of the runway and flight path, since Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) rules prohibit obstructing either.