The turbine's hybrid rotors are a clever innovation—they can either generate energy as a turbine or apply thrust like a propeller. Thus the wing can stay aloft if the wind dies, by virtue of its propellers.
Makani is developing software to better handle the vagaries of wind power, including high wind gusts. Presently the company's airborne wind turbine can generate 30 kilowatts, compared to the approximately 600 kW a traditional wind turbine might produce. However the company says their planned first commercial product will be a 600 kW utility-scale airborne wind turbine.