The highest flier?

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zero1199
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The highest flier?

Postby zero1199 » Fri, Nov 09 2012, 11:53 PM

So I have to ask its always been a dream of mine to get a high flying kite, high flying delta kite. so the question is which is the best highflying delta kite out there? something that can fly around 5000 feet or higher? :-D
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goestoeleven
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Re: The highest flier?

Postby goestoeleven » Sat, Nov 10 2012, 02:35 AM

Please don't take this the wrong way. I have respect for the desire to put a kite very high into the sky, but you better go a long way from commercial aviation airports and airspace before you try to put something up 5000 feet. Actually, I'm being serious. Most of the Chicago metro area is commercial airspace, and is either approach or takeoff airspace for Ohare or Midway, plus there are several general aviation airports like DuPage, Schaumburg, Aurora (by Sugar Grove), and others. It's why when you look up on a clear night over Chicago, you can see airplane lights everywhere you look. I'd suggest looking into the FAA rules before attempting much over 150 feet anywhere within 5 miles of the airports (and I'd suggest a sensible limit for kites even if you are much further away from any active airport). I've spent a fair amount of time on planes (often for work) and the last thing I want a pilot to have to do is worry about a kite in the flight path. Not to mention that the authorities will be looking for the person at the end of the string.

Here's the FAA response to a question about flying kites near Ohare:

8. Q: Can kites be flown near the airport (i.e. in Park Ridge)?
FAA Response: 14 CFR Part 101 states that "...within 5 miles of the boundary of any airport...No person may operate an unshielded moored balloon or kite more than 150 feet above the surface of the earth unless, at least 24 hours before beginning the operation, he gives the following information to the FAA ATC facility that is nearest to the place of intended operation: (a) the names and addresses of the owners and operators, (b) the size of the balloon or the size and weight of the kite, (c) the location of the operation, (d) the height above the surface of the earth at which the balloon or kite is to be operated, and (e) the date, time and duration of the operation.” There are also additional lighting and marking requirements, if the balloon or kite would be operated above 150 feet above the surface of the earth.
Part 101 also states “(a) no person may operate any moored balloon, kite, unmanned rocket, or unmanned free balloon in a manner that creates a hazard to other persons or their property, and (b) no person operating any moored balloon, kite, unmanned rocket, or unmanned free balloon may allow an object to be dropped there from, if such action creates a hazard to other persons or their property.”

So, I'm not trying to ruin your fun, but I would be careful before attempting a really high flight. You also have to think about what happens if the string breaks or the kite fails at that altitude. Where's it going to come down? In a suburb or city, that could present a problem.

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Mike
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Re: The highest flier?

Postby Mike » Sat, Nov 10 2012, 04:12 AM

That's interesting, the FAA rules used to only apply to a kite or balloon that weighs over 5 lbs. I looked up the full text and it seems they dropped the weight standard. I guess that makes sense if a bird can bring down a plane.

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goestoeleven
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Re: The highest flier?

Postby goestoeleven » Sat, Nov 10 2012, 08:35 AM

I think it's great to want to try for a super high flight - with the amount of dacron line I have right now, I'd like to try it myself (at least to 1000 yards / 3000 feet). I even have a drill powered spool winder (in the collection I bought) that would make it much easier to wind up 3000 feet of line after flying. However, I believe you have to be very safety conscious. At 5000 feet anywhere in the Chicago area, you will be in the regulated, commercial flight airspace.

I don't mean to sound like the "bad guy" but safety for airplanes is very important. As kite fliers, the "birds taking down the commercial plane into the Hudson River" is exactly the scenario we have to avoid. If the USAir flight in NYC had not "landed" in the Hudson river, it would have been very bad for everyone on the plane, and probably people on the ground as well. While the engine manufacturers test for bird strikes, I doubt they test for an airplane engine ingesting a big kite, spars, and lots of line.

It's not just commercial planes you have to worry about - small general aviation planes are also at risk because they fly at lower altitudes - especially around Chicago due to the commercial planes flying in at higher altitudes. While the likelihood of a plane striking a kite is very, very low, it's enough of a risk that the FAA wrote it into their regulations. And I think it's there because when something bad happens to a airplane in flight, the potential risk for loss of life is very high. You can't just pull over to the side of the road when you are in a plane in flight.

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goestoeleven
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Re: The highest flier?

Postby goestoeleven » Sat, Nov 10 2012, 08:42 AM

Mike wrote:That's interesting, the FAA rules used to only apply to a kite or balloon that weighs over 5 lbs. I looked up the full text and it seems they dropped the weight standard. I guess that makes sense if a bird can bring down a plane.


Care to post a link?

It might be because changes in kite technology have made it possible to build a very large kite, and still have it weigh less than five pounds.

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Jeepster
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Re: The highest flier?

Postby Jeepster » Sat, Nov 10 2012, 09:01 AM

If you're really excited about high flying kites, you might be interested in reading Bob Moore's altitude attempts. Here's a brief thread on his 2012 attempt and here is his official web site.

It's interesting to note that Bob has to have special permission to fly at high altitudes ... and, he's flying in the outback of Australia!!!

When you first think about flying at record breaking altitudes, the concept seems simple ... how much "string" do I have in the basement. But, as Bob demonstrates, it's really a complex engineering challenge interspersed with a large dollop of luck.

Cheers,
Tom

TMadz
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Re: The highest flier?

Postby TMadz » Sat, Nov 10 2012, 09:50 AM

Well I'm right next to Aurora airport. Usually the planes aren't a problem, but sometimes those suckers can't be more than a few hundred feet on approach. If you wanted to try high flying you would have to find a general area far enough away from an airport and then try and get permission from the farmer to fly on his land. That's about the only open land that you're likely to get large enough to deal with issues.
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zero1199
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Re: The highest flier?

Postby zero1199 » Sat, Nov 10 2012, 12:41 PM

Wanna say I'm not offended by anybody's opinion or what people think of what we should do, and what I should do. Still the question is which Delta or any kite do you think can fly that High, and why?
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Jeepster
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Re: The highest flier?

Postby Jeepster » Sat, Nov 10 2012, 12:58 PM

zero1199 wrote:Wanna say I'm not offended by anybody's opinion or what people think of what we should do, and what I should do. Still the question is which Delta or any kite do you think can fly that High, and why?


Bob Moore uses a DT Delta for his altitude attempts. You might check out this page on his website.

Cheers,
Tom

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goestoeleven
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Re: The highest flier?

Postby goestoeleven » Sat, Nov 10 2012, 02:17 PM

Jeepster - thanks for chiming in with the great links. I just glanced at the thread over on kitebuilder, and I am intrigued. Haven't looked at his web site yet. They talk about having a winch, capstan, and line gauge system that will allow him to reel out in a controlled fashion at 40kph. As you said - this is almost more of an engineering problem than a kite challenge.

Maybe an IKE challenge ? . . . . :-)

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zero1199
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Re: The highest flier?

Postby zero1199 » Sat, Nov 10 2012, 02:43 PM

I think it would be a great thing for us to do, a great challenge and something to be proud of for us club. :up:
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zero1199
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Re: The highest flier?

Postby zero1199 » Sat, Nov 10 2012, 02:54 PM

Steve I just got done putting that DC delta up, I'll tell you what I couldn't get it down by myself. the thing pull like a horse, but my neighbor came out and help me got it down. By the Way I only had it up at 500'. Hehe


Thanks jeepster for the link. :thanks:
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Mike
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Re: The highest flier?

Postby Mike » Sat, Nov 10 2012, 06:16 PM

goestoeleven wrote:
Mike wrote:That's interesting, the FAA rules used to only apply to a kite or balloon that weighs over 5 lbs. I looked up the full text and it seems they dropped the weight standard. I guess that makes sense if a bird can bring down a plane.


Care to post a link?

I just googled it...

TMadz
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Re: The highest flier?

Postby TMadz » Sat, Nov 10 2012, 07:18 PM

zero1199 wrote:Steve I just got done putting that DC delta up, I'll tell you what I couldn't get it down by myself. the thing pull like a horse, but my neighbor came out and help me got it down. By the Way I only had it up at 500'. Hehe


Thanks jeepster for the link. :thanks:


Say, are you reeling the line in directly or are you walking the line down? I bought a large carabiner from Home Depot. I clip it on the line and walk down the line towards the kite. If I have enough room in my flying area I walk the line down all the way. If there isn't enough room I tie a loop in the middle of the line and walk it back to my anchor and attach it to the anchor while being careful not to tangle my line. I reel up the downed line and start the process again. This is much easier and safer...for you and the kite. Just my two cents.
Bonum vinum laetificat cor hominis

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zero1199
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Re: The highest flier?

Postby zero1199 » Sat, Nov 10 2012, 09:09 PM

Thanks Todd, the only problem is I don't have a whole lot of room in the front of my house. There are a lot of big trees around here so I would say I have maybe 50'x100' to fly my kite.
I know I shouldn't fly a kite here, but I can't help it. I do this when my kids take a nap. I do know how to walk down the kite like you said, but I have to do that like 50 times. But thanks for the help.

So are you going next weekend?
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TMadz
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Re: The highest flier?

Postby TMadz » Sun, Nov 11 2012, 08:06 AM

No problem Say. Have fun.

I have a scheduling problem that is preventing me from going to the club fly. I want to go so desperately. I didn't realize that Thanksgiving was so early this year. We usually takes the kids away for a long weekend before Thanksgiving with extended family. There is a possibility plans might change though.
Bonum vinum laetificat cor hominis

TBHinPhilly
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Re: The highest flier?

Postby TBHinPhilly » Tue, Nov 13 2012, 05:29 PM

On the Kitebuilder links you will find some posts from Jesse Gersenson - he is a new member from the Czech republic whose passion is small kite high flights. No winches or fancy equipment. Dyneema line (lots of it), and hand held reel (details in a post) and a DT kite -- recently got it over a mile high - before spending two hours retrieving it.

As to the FAA regulations - the 5lbs limit is still there but it is only in subpart A.

http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&rgn=div5&view=text&node=14:2.0.1.3.15&idno=14#14:2.0.1.3.15.1.9.1

Subpart A starts out with the applicability of "this part" and then states it is applicable to kites weighing more than 5 lbs intended to be flown from a cable or rope. There is the further applicability restriction of the "cable or rope" flight - but because we all say flying line (not string) and kites over 5lbs are probably on 500lb line or better - I would not want to be arguing whether or not it is a rope.

What does Subpart A do with respect to kites weighing more than 5lbs? 101.5 prohibits their flight in prohibited or restricted areas unless permission is sought and obtained. 101.7 prohibits their use anywhere if they present a hazard.

Although it would seem like these requirements should apply to any kite anywhere (and that is written on a number of kite sites), the regulation does not have that effect. For those that have been there, think about kite flying on the US National Mall around the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. All of that area is restricted airspace because of the Whitehouse, Congress, etc. Yet no permission to fly a kite is required. And the only restriction on kite flying on the mall is no manja allowed - and that's a Park Service rule.


Subpart B is a different part. So the applicablity provision of A do not apply, and indeed B has its own applicability provision. It applies to "kites" - no definition given - and no weight limit. So comparing and contrasting to A - Subpart B applies to kites of any weight.

What does Subpart B do with respect to any kite?

(1) No flight more than 150 feet above the surface of the earth unless, at least 24 hours before beginning the flight notice is given to the FAA

- where notice is given, flights between sunrise and sunset require lines have colored pennants or streamers attached at not more than 50 foot intervals beginning at 150 feet above the surface of the earth and visible for at least one mile


(2) No flight less than 500 feet from the base of any cloud;

(3) No flight more than 500 feet above the surface of the earth;

(4) No flight from an area where the ground visibility is less than three
miles; or

(5) No flight within five miles of the boundary of any airport.

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Mike
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Re: The highest flier?

Postby Mike » Tue, Nov 13 2012, 06:33 PM

Thanks for clarifying things!

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Re: The highest flier?

Postby Jesse Gersenson » Mon, Apr 01 2013, 04:31 PM

"so the question is which is the best highflying delta kite out there? something that can fly around 5000 feet or higher?"

You need a compatible kite, reel and line to reach your goal. A well made DC delta or DT delta with a wingspan of 6 feet will get you to 5,000 ft. Fly on 8000 ft of 20 lb spectra line. Use a good quality knot to attach the line to a carabinner (youtube 'knot wars'). The carabinner should be at least 5mm thick. Make a reel from something metal: wheel barrow rim, go cart rim, or car rim would all do the trick. When winding in make the line cross over the underlying layers - always criss cross, otherwise the line'll dig into underlying layers and'll be a mess. That's the basic fly-to-5000-feet do it yourself recipe.

The bells and whistles are:
- bring a pair of binoculars
- stick an altimeter on the kite. Soaring Circuits' RAM 3 is easy to use, consumes just 5mAh and will record a full day's worth of flying
- build your own kite and see how high you can get it!
- look at the clouds and figure out how fast they're moving. Winds at 5,000 ft are not the same as at ground level. Sometimes they're slower, usually they're stronger. Sometimes much stronger. Bob Moore, the king of high altitude fliers, recently had his kite destroyed at just 2,000 ft! Winds change, storms appear. Deltas, no matter how well they're made, have an upper wind limit which, once it's surpassed, cause the kite to lose control. Letting out line sometimes can let you survive a strong gust. But, sometimes the strong gust doesn't quit ... run towards the kite and wind in as fast as you can. Now onto the pedantic bit...

People are decapitated by kite line all the time. Don't fly high in populated areas. Stay away from high power lines. Stay away from airplanes and especially helicopters. Ask the FAA for clearance.

About me: I'm 36 and have 3 kids and fly my small kites over a mile high. Am officially going for the Guinness world record for altitude of a single kite. I'll be flying with a 14 sq ft DT delta. This is unheard of in high altitude flying circles - the crux of my effort is a small kite which can fly in low wind. I'll be surprised if I reach 10,000 ft but we'll see. A 4 minuet documentary introducing my record attempt is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13xOFmscDHQ my website, which is slowly growing a kite section is stiffarmingsociety.com


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