Kite Night Flight One

by Gary Crenshaw
(Hampton,Ga USA)

Most kite fliers agree that summer winds are gusty, unpredictable and most of the time no fun to deal with other than just flying light wind floater kites at low altitude. But every now and then that perfect flow of slightly cooler air comes along and its just perfect for a night flight. We got that combination last week about an hour before dark so I gathered up my stuff and headed for the pasture. 'Pasture' is country boy talk for 'Kite Field'.

For this flight I used a seven foot Delta kite, some small L.E.D. flashing lights and for my work space a four-D cell battery florescent lantern. When the kite reached about the fifty foot level I realized the wind above the tree tops was greater but still remained steady.

Just for experiment purposes I attatched the 4-D battery lantern to the kite line about fifty foot below the kite and it climbed almost like the light wasn't even there. As the light climbed to altitude it could easily be seen from a mile away. On its way up to four hundred feet altitude the light swayed a lot but it settled down once I secured the kite line.

The kite stayed aloft for two hours and during this time several cars stopped about a half a mile away to see the weird light in the sky. I began to realize that some good ole boys in a pickup truck might just stop and take a few pop shots at this intruder in the sky so I reeled her back down and called it a night. A light this heavy and large is not the first choice for kite line laundry but if it lifts it - fly it.

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Good ole boys
by: Tim Parish

... there's UFOs over them thar hills ...

Thanks again, Gary!

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Wind Speeds


Light air
1-5 km/h
1-3 mph
1-3 knots
Beaufort 1

Light breeze
6–11 km/h
4–7 mph
4–6 knots
Beaufort 2    

Gentle breeze
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3    

Moderate breeze
20–28 km/h
13–18 mph
11–16 knots
Beaufort 4    

Fresh breeze
29–38 km/h
19–24 mph
17–21 knots
Beaufort 5    

Strong breeze
39–49 km/h
25–31 mph
22–27 knots
Beaufort 6

High Wind
50-61 km/h
32-38 mph
28-33 knots
Beaufort 7