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ground effect on kites?

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ground effect on kites?

Postby windfreak74 » Fri May 10, 2013 3:28 am

Does ground effect improve kite performance?
many times ive seen video of light wind riding and most of the time people use theyre kite really low.
is this the best way to extract all the performance of the kite?

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Re: ground effect on kites?

Postby davesails7 » Fri May 10, 2013 3:47 am

I wouldn't think so. The high pressure side of your kite is the part of the canopy you can see. When your kite is low in the window, that high pressure side of the foil is pointing towards you, not the ground (or water), so the ground won't help.

There is less wind down low near the surface, but with the kite low the tension in the lines is pulling you more horizontally instead of up.

Planing hulls do get a bump in performance in shallow water though, so your board is getting some ground effect in shallow water. Would have to be very shallow for there to be any noticable difference because the board is small.

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Re: ground effect on kites?

Postby NeWORBiT » Fri May 10, 2013 4:43 am

My guess is that any benefit from "ground effect" (blocking of wing tip vortices by the ground/water/snow surface) would be negated by "wind gradient" (decreased wind speed near the water/snow/ground surface due to friction). Seems like I get more power by keeping the kite 10 or 15 feet above the surface than 5' above. Aircraft performance improves in ground effect, but their power isn't coming from wind.

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Re: ground effect on kites?

Postby plummet » Fri May 10, 2013 5:37 am

I like to park it low. sometimes so low I fly the tip right into the water.
you can hold more power and churn upwind better when its low.
When i'm super powered that's what I do. chuck it low and crank some power through the legs. also good to get your harness back in the right place.

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Re: ground effect on kites?

Postby edt » Fri May 10, 2013 6:43 am

I know the videos you are talking about, they put it near the water for looks. In light wind riding, if you crash your kite, you can't relaunch. So they are showing off. Also it frames a nice shot, you can see the kite against the water. Ground effect is there but insignificant compared to the wind gradient, near the ground the kite loses a lot of power.

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Re: ground effect on kites?

Postby Peter_Frank » Fri May 10, 2013 9:21 am

The "ground effect" would not have any influence on kites as we are talking about movement and pressure in another axis (coordinate axis).

So agree fully with edt, that those flying the kite low in light wind, is purely for looks and extremely ineffective (losing speed and power etc).

I am pretty sure the best angle is quite close to 45 degree, in light wind, in order to max performance and glide and upwind and everything actually :thumb:

:D Peter

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