How High Can You Fly A Stunt Kite?
The weight of the line a kite can lift limits the height it can reach. Thrust in stronger wind is more forceful, but there is also more strain on the line, so it needs to be heavier and thicker. Normally, single-line kites come with lines ranging from 45 to 60 m in length, while stunt kites, as they’re harder to control, have much shorter lines. Short lines also render the task of avoid trees and other obstacles easier.
How High Can Stunt Kites Go?
In Australia, a pilot team managed to their kites up to the impressive 16,038 ft. That’s just over 3 miles. To achieve this height, they used special equipment. They used line of total length of almost 7 miles as it hangs in a curve below the kite. Horizontally, the kite was 1.5 km away.
Usually, a bigger kite with strong thread can reach higher altitudes. In general, kites fly at an altitude of 250 feet above ground on average. The ones you see soaring very high up can reach 600 feet.
The record for a single-line was marked in 2014, and it was just over 16,000 ft above the launch point. In 1919, a German weather station launched a train of kites up to almost 32,000 ft, but the line broke, and the kites didn’t return to the launch point.
With a suitable design, a train of kites can fly up to 40,000 ft according to experts. In perfect weather conditions and the right material, like rip-stop nylon, a single kite could reach a height of 25,000 ft.
How to Gain Height
If you want to launch a big kite alone, prop it up against an obstacle on the ground so when you pull on the line, it can catch the wind more easily. From this position, pull on the line gently when you sense a gust of wind. Pull in some line if the kite starts to drift, letting it out as it gains height.
Single-line kites are not very maneuverable. If you adjust the length of the line to keep them soaring even in unstable wind, you can control them somewhat. If you find your kite diving about when it is high up, this might mean the wind is too forceful. In this case, reel the line in to find the gentler winds at lower altitudes. If the kite is unstable there, let some line out to find the cleaner winds at higher altitudes. To get the kite back on track (if it picks up speed to the right or left), let the line out again. To keep it flying in the same direction, but faster, reel the line in.
Keeping the Kite Up
Stunt kites use two or four bilaterally positioned control lines, whereas the wind direction limits single-line kites. Pulling the line on the right or left makes the kite move in the corresponding direction. If you pull harder, the kite will go full circle. As the control lines can slide past each other, the kite can be steered even if they get tangled.
Knowing the Right Wind
In general, kites are designed for winds ranging from 4 and 20 mph. To compensate higher wind speed, adjust the bridle attachment point. Always keep the lines straight and wind the lines in when your kite is on the ground.
If you need guidance on flying in low winds then check this post out.
How Do I Handle a Stunt Kite at High Altitudes?
Essentially, the kite deflects the wind, which blows horizontally until it comes into contact with the angled surface of the wing and gets deflected vertically. As the kite is tethered to the line, it can’t move backwards until the reaction force pushes it higher. The vertical thrust balances the kite’s weight at a certain point for a given wind speed.