Man Lifting Kite
(Colorado Springs, CO, USA)
I am trying to build a man lifting kite to lift a weather device into the air about 30,000 feet. Launching from Colorado, at 9,000 feet above ground level.
I want an expert opinion if possible:
Is a Cody the best kite for lifting things?
Will the Cody be able to stand up to 80mph winds, even with durable materials?
Do you have a specific recommendation for style of man lifting "cody" kite that would be most durable/workhorse?
Thank you for reading these questions. I look forward to hearing from an expert.
By 'man lifting kite' I presume you mean something capable of lifting a man although that's not your intention. A 50 - 150 kg payload lifter?
Box kites, including the Cody, are indeed a good solution for sturdiness, stability and lifting power in high winds. However, a Cody is quite complex and you could get the job done with a much simpler Box kite in my opinion. Or perhaps a train of several kites, to make each one a more manageable size. Also, I believe a train would be a more efficient way to get a payload up really high.
I suggest you try to seek out individuals who have made altitude record attempts with kites. They have the hands-on experience with very large kites and associated gear such as winches and line selection.
You might have difficulty getting up to 30000ft with a heavy payload, since wind speeds can drop off somewhat several thousand feet up. There can be s a wind gradient near the ground, some very stiff winds up where the airliners fly - but often there is a height band in between, of quite a few thousand feet, where wind speeds are much lower. You have to be able to hop that gap somehow! On the other hand, you are starting from 9000 feet, which could make things easier.
One more hurdle - you need permission from the aviation authorities before each attempt :-)
Good luck with it! It might take a few years and quite a bit of money to achieve, but what an awesome kite-flying adventure...
(Some more research for you to do - check out the high-altitude weather kites in the early 1900s. Some sort of re-creation of those flights could work for you. No need for oiled silk sails and steel cables though ;-) Read this page on meteorological kites to get started.
Finally, for a little light reading, see what you think of "The Weather Companion" from Amazon. Slightly controversial, but could be a fun read anyway. There is supposed to be some mention of weather kites in there as well...
Hope all this helps!